A Perfect Analogy

Amid the chaos and corruption of this administration, there is one positive thing we critics all need to concede: Trump, Pence and company have been gold for political satire.

He’s probably less well-known than  the large and appreciative audiences for John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, et al,  but Dana Milbank of the Washington Post has also been turning out some really excellent snark. And since the mood–at my house and on this blog–has been pretty depressed, I thought I’d share one of Milbank’s more recent columns.

This one was titled “American Pharoah Joins the Resistance.” American Pharoah, for those who (like me) don’t follow such things, is a Triple Crown winning horse. And Mike Pence recently alleged that the horse bit him. Hard.

I saw the initial report of Pence’s accusation, thought “good for the horse,” and promptly forgot about it. Milbank didn’t.

On Friday, Vice President Pence informed House Republicans that Triple Crown winner American Pharoah “bit me so hard” on the arm during a Kentucky visit last year that he (man, not horse) “almost collapsed.”

Some might disbelieve the vice president’s tale of American Pharoah carnage, because Pence said nothing about this grievous injury at the time and because the manager of the racehorse-breeding company said that if the “sweet” thoroughbred had bitten Pence, “I’d know it.” Pence did show people a bruise on his arm back then, but that could have been from one of the many times President Trump walked all over him.

I’ve never known a member of the Trump administration to tell an untruth, so I have no reason to disbelieve Pence’s harrowing account.

Sweet-natured or not, Milbank says there are several reasons the horse might have chosen to bite Pence:

Pence saw him and another stallion grooming each other, and American Pharoah worried he’d be sent to the glue factory.

Pence told the stud that sex is only between one stallion and one mare, whom the stallion should call “mother.”

Pence advised American Pharoah not to eat oats with a mare unless others are present at the same trough.

Alternatively, as Milbank writes, since horses are very hierarchical and alpha horses bite those they consider beneath them, perhaps Pharoah had seen how Pence is treated at the White House? Or had drawn conclusions about status from Pence’s nauseatingly obsequious behavior around Trump?

The column is all worth reading, but here is my absolute favorite paragraph. It’s a perfect analogy to this disastrous–almost comically destructive–administration:

Trump might not have American Pharoah’s speed, but their behaviors are similar. The comedian John Mulaney likens Trump’s presidency to a horse loose in a hospital: “No one knows what the horse is going to do next, least of all the horse. . . . So all day long you walk around, ‘What’d the horse do? What’d the horse do?’ The updates, they’re not always bad; sometimes they’re just odd. It’ll be like, ‘The horse used the elevator? I didn’t know he knew how to do that.’ The creepiest days are when you don’t hear from the horse . . . those quiet days when people are like, ‘It looks like the horse has finally calmed down.’ And then 10 seconds later the horse is like, ‘I’m gonna run toward the baby incubators and smash ’em with my hooves.’”



  1. An Equation

    Trump +Guillani+$400 million withheld from Ukraine+Trump Calls on Biden =Impeachment

  2. All pet lovers; and horse owners are among that class, will tell you that animals have an almost unfailing instinct in judging people. The same is true of the avian variety; remember Trump and the American eagle and Bernie Sanders and the tiny bird which landed on the dais as his followers loudly cheered and applauded? Animals rely on their sense of smell regarding foods offered to them and people who approach them. Pence emitted an offensive stink while serving as governor here, then returned with Trump as elected but not yet inaugurated political figures to screw the state of Indiana out of 6 MILLION to save the Carrier Corporation which was already lost to this state.

    The name of the horse in this situation, AMERICAN Pharoah is explanation enough…if one is needed.

  3. I am a lifelong fan or thoroughbred horse racing, and after this story I love American Pharoah even more! He was truly a gifted race horse, but the main thing I read over and over about Pharoah during his racing career was what a friendly, sweet and kind animal he was. With humans the horse was curious and, well, ‘personable’! The stud manager at the farm where Pharoah lives, Ashford Stud in Kentucky, says the stallion did not bite Mr. Pence. There is no reason to disbelieve the horseman, but as everyone who works with horses knows any horse could bite a person, particularly one who has no idea what they are doing. In that sense, it is difficult to disbelieve Mr. Pence.

  4. Horses will frequently turn to nip at something on their rear. It seems, in this case, the horse just bit the wrong ass.

  5. Indiana has given the country many fine humans, not the least of which was my ex-fiance’…from Zionsville. Mike Pence is NOT one of them.

    Mike Pence is one of those political animals that is a defilement of all living things. In a word, Mike Pence is absurd. The poor horse probably went through 10 gallons of water afterward trying to get the taste of bullshit out of his mouth.

  6. Peggy!!!! LOL

    Pence provided plenty of material of his own while running this state but has been completely overtaken by Trump on a daily basis. I never figured Pence for playing second fiddle but he’s been perfect in the role.

    As a side note, is Dan Coats the secret Ukrainian phone call whistleblower? 😉

  7. For many years my family and I owned eight horses. Four were thoroughbreds that we raced and four were trail riding quarter horses. Horses can nip at a person, but I have never ever heard of a horse actually biting a human being – only another horse.

    I had not heard about pence’s “horse bite incident” so I googled it. It seems that he recently told his fellow Rs that American Pharoah bit him so hard that he almost collapsed.

    45-1/2 almost collapsing could be looked at in two distinct ways:

    1. He is such a weakling that a nip on the arm from a horse is an unbearable pain for pence, but for maybe a ten year old girl would seem like she was just pinched.

    2. Pence has never been an honest person and lies frequently. His biggest lie (he repeats ad nauseum) is that he is a Christian.

  8. Peggy – Perfect analogy!

    Vernon – Yes, the poor horse may still have a horrible taste in his mouth.

    Todd – On NPR a few days ago someone they were interviewing (can’t recall his name, but used to be the head of National Intelligence several years ago) was putting together a timeline of these issues and the finger seemed to point directly to Dan Coats. Apparently Coats resigned at the exact time the Whistle Blower filed the complaint.

    Side Note: Did anyone else read that the Whistle Blower has requested to testify in person to the Intelligence Committees or Congress?

  9. The horse kicks in the door to the pharmacy and starts snorting fentanyl because, it’s nerves were shot er um was an anti-gay experiment, I mean it claimed a sinus infection.

  10. imtercept,rob mackey..”reporters help trump spread lies about biden and Ukraine”..time line and guilllianis meltdown,and how cuomo blew it. nyt inept column. but in other stories,as ive followed ukraine for some time,and manaforts paid lobby to install a putin puppet as president in unkraine. if one remembers the gas being shut off to lower block countries during the winter because russia demanded payment,and those gas piplines ran through ukraine. installing bidens son may have been more of a on demand watch to see where and what russia has for its next move.(see nordstream 2 and the russian gas wars) though the orange revoltion produced its president,in never cleared the corruption or its causes. the prosicutor in question refused to,or stopped corruption investigations. hense he was fired. trump figured he could pull one here,and possibly with guiliannis brains. (o.k. mistake)guliannis trip to ukraine cancellation earlier this year probably was a opps,that was watched. dont be set on the transcript,it may have little,and maybe a backlash,the whistleblowers report,maybe more of a question,than answer. the new pres of ukraine is not a politician either,hes a actor,who played a president on t.v. maybe trump saw him as a game ro play..we get to excited trying to screw trump.. maybe if we just vote him out with a outstanding turnout in nov,2020,to clobber mcevil and his band of merry treasoners, that would send the real message…

  11. I agree that animals have a sensibility that humans lack or have lost. I had an idea a number of years back for screening job candidates: when the candidate comes for an interview, a dog should be there to provide assessment/input beyond the standard questions coming from the office manager and HR.

  12. Perhaps we should not be so dismissive (even for the sake of humor) of Pence’s story about being horse-bitten, not only because it’s false, but also because it appears that Trump’s terminal prevarication condition is contagious and especially because there is a good chance that Pence (who is vice president on the recommendation of the convicted criminal Manafort) will soon grace the Oval Office with his presence.

  13. Thanks, Sheila, for providing a space of humor and thus, a brief respite from the depravity at hand. I knew I respected the members of this blogging community, but I didn’t realize until now how much I LIKE you all. Wit and humor, like a pb&j sandwich, is healthful and satisfying when spread.

  14. Excellent parody material here! I would add Andy Borowitz to the list of fine humorists. He just posted that, “Trump offers Nancy Pelosi $130,000 to keep quiet.”

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