The GOP presidential field for 2012 is a field knee-deep in horseshit. And it’s like they say: where you have lots of horseshit, you gotta have a horse’s ass. Or, as in this case, more than one horse’s ass.

I always wondered about that stupid optimist/pessimist parable, the one where you take two kids and you put them in separate rooms. The first kid is given all sorts of toys and says “this sucks.” And then the second kid is put in a room full of shit. And he says, “whee, where you have this much shit, there must be a pony!”

Whenever I heard this tale as a young lad I knew I was supposed to be cheering on the kid who was gleefully sitting in shit and imagining ponies. But I always thought this kid was a fucking moron. People who force you into rooms full of shit and promise you ponies rarely have your best interests at heart. That the kid with all the toys was an asshole is irrelevant.

But there is nevertheless something to the idea that you have to make fun of the horseshit you have, rather than the horsehit you want. Here are two road apples.

One. Mike Huckabee’s amazingly battty “American history” cartoons.

Two. Newt Gingrich’s plan to force everyone to pass an American history test before they get to vote.

Could you imagine the wingnut version of the American history exam you’d have to pass if these assholes got their way?

“Ronald Reagan — even more kickass than Jesus. Discuss.”

“Minorities: When should they stop guilt-tripping Normal America? Discuss.”

“The Free Market: Who really earned your tax dollars, you or Goldman Sachs? Discuss.”