Rich Galen

As I am typing this, I am watching the debate in the U.S. House on the tax bill. There is no soaring rhetoric. There are no classical arguments, no unique insights, nor high appeals to reason.

Neither, alas, are there any teddy bears. Not one.

Maybe the Canadians have it right. Not the Brits, the Greeks, the Russians, the Italians nor the United States Congress. The Canadians.

I don't know that teddy bears should be the symbol of peace on earth and goodwill toward men, but, until someone comes up with a better one, the teddy bear works for me.

If the North Koreans had hurled teddy bears instead of high explosive rounds at that South Korean Island a couple of weeks ago, we wouldn't need Governor Bill Richardson in Pyongyang trying to talk them down off the ledge.

If the Taliban put teddy bears in public markets instead of IEDs, we could be out of Afghanistan by Memorial Day.

If Iran sent teddy bears to Lebanon instead of missiles, Israel might feel safe enough to make peace with the Palestinians.

If Democrats and Republicans in Congress tossed teddy bears across the aisles of the House and Senate instead of rhetorical dirt bombs we might figure out how to help get the 10 million Americans who want employment, but can't find an appropriate job, trained up and sent off to work.

Good for the Calgary Hitmen. Good for the Canadians.

Maybe you and I can't fund the government for the rest of this fiscal year. Maybe we can't preserve tax rates or extend unemployment benefits. Maybe we can't do any of those things which make the front page of the New York Times or the Washington Post.

But each of us can buy a teddy bear and give it to a child whose eyes will swell with joy and awe; who will hug it to his or her cheek; who will hold it out to his or her mommy or daddy to show them what a wonderful gift they have received.

We've shown we can't fix what's wrong with us. Those children will have to do it. Maybe a teddy bear will be the just boost they need to get them on a trajectory to success.

It's worth a try. That would be a pretty good Christmas present.

For all of us.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at