If there's anyone out here who is truly capable of capturing the exhausted, existentially pessimistic mood of the Democratic party tonight, it's Nancy Pelosi during Trump's joint address to Congress. The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives' face warrants a lot of reactions — but, mostly, same, girl, same.
After a tough year of speeches that inspire a marathon runner's stamina and a saint's patience, Pelosi's face muscles are probably used to taking on the Lucille Bluth shape of #OverIt. As a scholar of facial expressions, from Jake Tapper to Hillary Clinton, I pride myself on being able to read the nuance of an individual's every eye-roll and side-eye. So, it's an absolute delight to get to dissect Pelosi on this most forehead-wrinkling night. First of all, if anyone wants to come for her and attempt to call her reactions Resting Bitch Face™ — please, please, ask them to take every seat imaginable. Because Nancy's face, particularly in this moment, isn't one that rests — like ever. And, particularly, now it's an exasperated, my-patience-isn't-just-being-tried-but-convicted-of-arson while fantasizing about mid-term elections face.
For a lot of Democrats, who are viewing Trump's pressers, rallies and now this address from a place of discomfort, fear or outrage — Pelosi seems to really get it.
While no living politician can masterfully wield their face as a weapon the way, say, California Rep. Maxine Waters does (because ma'am, she is the undisputed queen), Pelosi and the other Democrats in attendance did their part to resist the formalities, pomp and circumstance that might normalize President Trump and his rhetoric.
For the countless viewers at home who watched half the crowd clamor to shake the president's hand in the aisle or stand up (in sync with Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan) to offer him applause, it's undoubtedly a relief to see that some of their Reps continue to avoid drinking the presidential respectability Kool-Aid. If nothing else, when Dems need something to sustain them while watching an uncomfortably biblical speech wrapped in American exceptionalism and xenophobia, it's always good to know that someone else is wearing the same expression.