The highlight of Tuesday night’s State of the Union address wasn’t any of the boasts (or lies) made by impeached-but-acquitted president Donald J. Trump. Instead, the night was stolen by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tearing up of the commander-in-chief’s speech the second it came to a close. The moment was met with the expected cheers and jeers from the expected people, but one reaction — from current secretary of state Mike Pomepo — wound up backfiring.
As noted by NBC, Pompeo tried to defend his boss, taking to Twitter to make one of those things the kids these days call “memes.” It was simple: He took a screengrab from The Simpsons, namely a heartbreaking moment from the Season 3 episode “Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington,” in which a newly disillusioned Lisa tears up her inspiring speech after discovering the corruption amongst D.C. pols.
Did Pompeo…believe the image reflected poorly on Pelosi? Did he think people — including the countless who made his post get ratioed — wouldn’t argue that maybe this could be read as Pelosi reacting to a president who would, one day later, receive acquittal votes from senators who agreed he’d committed a crime? At the very least, did he not expect that maybe a certain Simpsons cast member wouldn’t clap back at him over Twitter?
Enter Yeardley Smith, longtime voice of the eldest Simpson daughter. Smith was not amused that Pompeo was using her work to attack Pelosi, and she reminded him, and other Trump-supporting conservatives in power, that many of the artists who make the art they love think they suck.
Smith was re-tweeting a post from New Jersey representative Bill Pascrell Jr., who pointed out the problem with Pompeo’s logic. “In this episode Lisa loses her faith in democracy after seeing a corrupt politician selling out American values and liberty. Like your boss,” Pascrell wrote. “Nice self-own though.”
Smith then chimed in, calling Pascrell’s observation “pretty good,” and adding, “I might just add f*ck you @mikepompeo for co-opting my character to troll @SpeakerPelosi. Be a leader and fight you own fight! Oh, wait I forgot, you’re a follower.”
So there you have it. Let that be a warning to people in the Trump administration: Don’t use memes involving people who hate your guts, unless you want to be owned.
Meanwhile, let’s all pray for a better future, one like that prophetic Simpsons episode in which Lisa is president and has to clean up the considerable messes of her predecessor, one Donald Trump.