Behold the Evil Face of Contemporary Conservatism:

So the Rude Pundit's been doing a lot of thinking after seeing Toy Story 3 (possibly because it's the only mainstream film this summer that's been worth a damn so far). (Oh, yeah, spoiler alert, but not much.) At first he thought of the character up there, Lots-O'-Huggin Bear, as Dick Cheney, with the toddler room of the Sunnyside Daycare as a Guantanamo prison camp substitute. That's not bad as analogies go. There's torture. There's cells. There's forced confessions.

However, when the Rude Pundit saw that Republicans (and Democrat Ben Nelson, a man who always looks as if he just finished masturbating to kiddie war porn) had filibustered a bill that would have extended unemployment benefits to millions of Americans, even after Democrats did the usual dance of adding in tax breaks Republicans wanted, even after the total the bill would have added to the deficit would have been $3 billion a year (that $30 billion figure you've been hearing is spread over a decade), he began to think differently about the Pixar film.

Ultimately, Lotso (as he's called) represents the genial yet ultimately sinister and power-mad face of the Republican Party and, indeed, contemporary conservatism. Promising a happier day for all cast-off toys and fooling them into trusting him, Lotso has a true goal to repress large numbers of the toys in order to maintain control and comfort for himself and those that he deems worthy. Hell, he even talks like Haley Barbour or any number of good ol' boys. The unworthy toys, consigned to the toddler room (as opposed to the older kids' room), are told that they can work their way to success and pleasure, even though the system is rigged for them to fail and stay in their harsh, awful jobs.

The Rude Pundit's not going to beat this to death because, hell, it's Friday, and, in the end, sometimes it's best to enjoy a cartoon as a cartoon. But, without giving too much away, Toy Story 3 is, to this blogger's despairing mind, about mourning for an idyllic America, about the destruction of that illusion, and, most movingly (no, really), about the path forward, which can only be achieved if we acknowledge that times have changed and if new paradigms of existence are embraced. But that only happens in the movies.