"Mr. Secretary of State please do not ever ever ever use Simpsons material in your twitter or watch the show or refer to it in any way"

By Sean Neumann
February 05, 2020 03:42 PM
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined conservatives criticizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for tearing up President Donald Trump‘s State of the Union as soon as he was done speaking on Tuesday night.

But Pompeo’s particular choice of criticism may not have worked out as he intended.

Soon after the State of the Union on Tuesday, the former lawmaker-turned-secretary tweeted an image of Lisa Simpson crying and ripping up a piece of paper — a dismissive dig at Pelosi for ripping up her copy of Trump’s speech.

Except that Pompeo seems to have misunderstood the joke he was trying to make.

“In this episode Lisa loses her faith in democracy after seeing a corrupt politician selling out American values and liberty,” Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., wrote in response to Pompeo’s tweet. “Like your boss. [Lisa Simpson voice actor Yeardley Smith] can probably explain better than I can. Nice self-own though.”

In the 1991 Simpsons episode Pompeo’s tweet referenced (“Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington”), Lisa, righteous and precocious, visits Washington, D.C., after winning a contest for an essay about American greatness. But she is shattered when she witnesses a bribery scandal in the House of Representatives.

Lisa then writes a new essay blasting the government for its corruption, which leads to the congressman’s arrest.

Yeardley Smith, who has voiced Lisa since the animated show began airing shorts on Fox in 1987, jumped into the discussion as well.

“That’s pretty good! I might just add f*ck you @mikepompeo for co-opting my character to troll @SpeakerPelosi,” she tweeted. “Be a leader and fight you own fight! Oh, wait I forgot, you’re a follower.”

Former Simpsons writer-producer Bill Oakley also chided Pompeo, tweeting, “Mr. Secretary of State please do not ever ever ever use Simpsons material in your twitter or watch the show or refer to it in any way.”

From left: Yeardley Smith and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
| Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty; Roy Rochlin/Getty
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripping up her copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union on Tuesday
| Credit: MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

Pelosi’s volatile relationship with Trump boiled over on Tuesday during his annual State of the Union address, with the two of them snubbing each other: First, the president ignored a handshake from the House speaker and then Pelosi ripped up Trump’s address in clear view of the cameras after he finished speaking. She was also seen shaking her head “no” during his speech.

Pelosi led the House Democratic majority that impeached Trump over his Ukraine scandal, accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Democrats say investigators found he withheld some $400 million in military aid while pressuring the Ukrainian government into digging up dirt on his 2020 political rival Joe Biden.

Trump’s re-election campaign received similar admonishment in December after sharing a meme depicting the president as Marvel supervillain Thanos, which left the comic’s co-creator Jim Starlin angry about the campaign using his art.

“After my initial feeling of being violated, seeing that pompous dang fool using my creation to stroke his infantile ego, it finally struck me that the leader of my country and the free world actually enjoys comparing himself to a mass murderer. How sick is that?” Starlin wrote on Instagram. “These are sad and strange times we are going through. Fortunately all things, even national nightmares, eventually come to an end.”