This morning, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi put on her best gauntlet-throwing coat, fired up her Word program and typed out a cordial letter to one Donald J. Trump disinviting him from delivering the State of the Union address until a resolution to the government shutdown was reached. While the language of the letter was crisp and cordial, suggesting that the two of them work together to find a more suitable time for the address, the message was clear: “Don’t call us, we’ll call SOTU.” Even Clippy was like “Oh, snap!”
Pelosi began the letter by reminding the president that as Speaker, it is her privilege to invite Trump to speak. Translation: “Who’s House? My House. And in the words of one of our greatest living songwriters, the elusive chanteuse, Mariah Carey, ‘why don’t you… GTFO?’ Thank you for your attention to this matter!”
The closing salutation is, truly, sending me. “Thank you for your attention to this matter!” is delivered with all the tight-lipped acidity of an email that begins “per my previous email” or a customer service complaint that ends “I look forward to your prompt response.” It that thing where you slap someone across the face with politeness like a Dominique Deveraux and Alexis Carrington in Dynasty.
Honestly, this is a masterful way of using congressional proceedings to remind the president who, as they say, tf she is. Pelosi’s letter is the most formal version of Rihanna’s iconic 2011 tweet “Good luck with bookin that stage u speak of.” Frankly, all of Rihanna’s social media statements should be entered into the Congressional record, so this is a great start.
Pelosi told Trump, “you can’t SOTU with us,” and I’m agog. She might as well have tied the letter to a brick, thrown it through a window in the Lincoln bedroom, and peeled off in a cherry red Mustang, blasting Alanis Morrissette’s “Uninvited” as she did donuts in the Rose Garden.
This letter is a masterpiece of boldfaced smack talk. Pelosi’s like, “thank u, next president.”
Pelosi told Trump, “So sorry to miss you shambolic remarks, my dude. Maybe you should tell it to that table full of cold Big Macs.” At this point, Mayor MAGACheese is going to be delivering his speech in a McDonaldland ball pit to a bunch of crying toddlers and Grimace, who is just there to heckle.
Was I aware that the president could be booted from the group chat like this? No. Am I learning more and more about governmental shade every day? Yes. Is it single-handedly reviving me? Absolutely. Nancy Pelosi muting Donald Trump using his own political grandstanding as an excuse is the kind of petty that will have me living a thousand more years like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What’s most remarkable about this move is that although there are plenty of reasons to not let Trump give the State of the Union—he lies like a rug, he’s the most successful Russian agent since Elizabeth Jennings, his voice is annoying—Pelosi used the financial impossibility of ensuring security during a shutdown as her excuse. This is like in The Firm when Tom Cruise takes down a law practice full of murderous lawyers using billing irregularities. There’s no shade like Excel Worksheet shade. Pelosi’s like, “Don’t blame me. Blame math. But also blame me.” Nancy Pelosi is giving us Olenna Tyrell realness and it is a thing of beauty.
As it stands, unless something changes with regard to the government shutdown, the State of the Union will just be a GIF of Dorinda Medley going, “I’ll tell you how I’m doing: not well, bitch.” Which, when you think about it, is a pretty fair assessment of the country and a lot more articulate than whatever the president was going to say.
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