A horse is a horse, of course, of course


“When the [Senate Watergate Committee’s] report failed to single out the President, [Chairman Sam Ervin explained] that it was possible to draw a picture of a horse in two ways. You could draw the picture with a very good likeness. Or you could draw the picture and write under it, ‘This is a horse.’ Well, said Ervin, ‘We just drew the picture.’

“In this… Ervin was a product of his culture,  for John Randolph of Roanoke, while making a sinister implication against President Adams in 1826, had said: ‘I do not draw my pictures in such a way as to render it necessary to write under them, “This is a man, this is a horse.” ‘ ”

– From “The Natural Superiority of Southern Politicians” (1977) by David Leon Chandler

Pictured: Pinback button produced by Ervin’s admirers during the Watergate hearings.