The origin of the Party Symbols
The elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party. During midterm election in 1874, Democrats attempted to frighten voters into believing that President Grant would attempt to unfairly seize power by running for an unprecedented third tirm. The first political cartoonist -- Thomas Nast of Harper's Weekly -- depicted a Democratic jackass unsuccessfully trying to frighten a Republican elephant. Both symbols stuck.
Change the word 'chaos' -- at the bottom of the drawing -- to 'quagmire' and we could syndicate the same cartoon today.