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Had his start been fifteen minutes longer, he would not have required a presidential pardon

In one of those too-good-to-be-true stories about Our Only President that Jacob Weisberg seems to come up with, it seems that OOP likes to direct people's attention to a painting by W.H.D. Koerner called A Charge to Keep. He brought the painting with him from Texas and hung it in the Oval Office; he tells people about its inspiring story and its connection to the Methodist hymn of that name. His campaign autobiography is also called A Charge to Keep. It’s an awful painting, but that’s not the gotcha here.

The gotcha is that Mr. Koerner originally painted the thing as an illustration of a horse thief, and it originally appeared in the Saturday Evening Post accompanying “The Slipper Tongue” with the caption Had His Start Been Fifteen Minutes Longer He Would Not Have Been Caught.

As was fairly common, the image was used again to illustrate a different story. This time, the caption read Bandits Move About From Town to Town, Pillaging Whatever They Can Find.

Third time is the charm, and evidently the third time the image illustrated a story, it picked up the title A Charge to Keep.

Now, to be fair: It is not a sign of stupidity or ignorance or incompetence to believe the title and background story of a painting when that title and background story are, in fact, accurate if not the original title or background story. Nor is it appalling for a person to invest a work of art with meaning unconnected to the intention of its originator, or to draw inspiration from that new meaning.

You know what’s appalling? Moving about from town to town, pillaging whatever they can find.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.