American First, Republican Second

This is an article R. Patrick Murphy and myself have been working on for a few days. The original post can be read here at TheNextRight.

EDIT: The post can now also be seen on The Dana Report’s blog. Thanks Alan and Ari!

Americans have sent a clear message that must be reflected upon: As Republicans, we are not trusted to lead this country. After the results from eight years of a George Bush Presidency and six years of a Republican Congress, voters decided it was time for change. Who can blame them?

Democrats promised voters they would deliver the essential functions of government, such as a dependable economy and consistent national defense, while acting responsibly and effectively. Their promise of post-partisan politics was appealing as well, considering the growing desire among voters to elect representatives who will work for all Americans, not just a political party.

This remains a center-right nation, ideologically, but the last two election cycles demonstrated that Americans are willing to look past differences on the major issues and take a chance on candidates who have promised to be more productive and competent than their predecessors. This represents a shift in the political landscape, away from ideology and towards pragmatism.

To move this country forward, Republicans and Democrats must work together to develop the best solutions for the serious problems our country faces. Just as Republicans and Democrats allied after the disasters of September 11th, both parties must join together to guarantee America’s  problems are resolved. As Americans, we must demand that our elected representatives cooperate to solve the very serious dilemmas in America right now.

Some question the conservative credentials of Republicans willing to work with Democrats, but it should be stated that the goal is never to dilute conservatism via compromise. Republicans must never acquiesce or waver in defense of our core conservative principles: strong national defense, free market capitalism, freedom and liberty for individuals, decreased tax burden for all taxpayers, and limited waste in government. While Republicans will not win each battle, we must always be prepared to defend and promote our principles. If not, both Americans and Republicans will lose.

Delivering on the promise of good bipartisan government requires that liberal and conservative tenets are represented in every discussion. Unfortunately, when Republicans offered conservative additions to a very liberal stimulus plan, they were swiftly rejected by Congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama. We should all support Republican Congressmen in their fight to protect capitalism and lower taxes on middle and low-income workers.

Regrettably, vocal conservatives derided their actions as traitorous, instead of rallying support. This criticism is not only juxtaposed to the economic interests of the country, but also inhibits Republican efforts to rebuild our damaged credibility. As a party, we cannot afford to become marginalized reactionaries who simply oppose for the sake of opposition. The outcome of such mindless opposition would be legislation without input from Republicans, robbing Americans of conservative principles that will help in these difficult times.

With Democrats controlling the executive and legislative branches of government, they will undoubtedly advance a liberal agenda. Because of such control, Republicans have only two clear choices of action-fight Democrats in futility or collaborate to ensure our conservative principles are represented. But be forewarned, trading insults back and forth will not stall overtly liberal plans.

Once both political parties acknowledge the benefit of collaboration, they will be able to provide the most needed improvements for our nation. Republicans will also receive an invaluable opportunity to reassert credibility and narrow the trust gap with the American people. When this is combined with expanded outreach to young and minority voters, Republicans will enjoy a vastly improved electoral outlook.

In the end, it doesn’t matter to most Americans if something comes from a Democrat or Republican. Everyone desires a government that works. Americans must demand that both Republicans and Democrats place America ahead of partisanship. It’s imperative that we are all Americans first, partisans second.

Lauren is the Head Editor at The New Republicans and a Senior at West Coast Baptist College in Los Angeles. Patrick is the Chairman Emeritus of the Texas Federation of College Republicans and a Sophomore at Collin College in Dallas. Both are experienced campaign staffers.

NBA, NFL, or Congress—Who Has More Convictions?

With the many recent convictions, crimes, and charges, consider these facts and try to identify the organization they represent:

36 have been accused of spousal abuse

7 have been arrested for fraud

19 have been accused of writing bad checks

117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses

3 have done time for assault

71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit

14 have been arrested on drug-related charges

8 have been arrested for shoplifting

21 currently are defendants in lawsuits

84 have been arrested for drunk driving
in the last year
Can you guess which organization this is?

NBA, NFL, or…..?

It’s neither. It’s the 435 members of the United States Congress. The same people we trust to make laws every year have problems abiding by the ones already in place.

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Would You Like Some Taxes With That Change?

We tried to tell you…

11 Most Expensive Tragedies in History

11. Titanic – $150 Million

The sinking of the Titanic is possibly the most famous accident in the world, but it barely makes our list of top 11 most expensive. On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage and was considered to be the most luxurious ocean liner ever built. Over 1,500 people lost their lives when the ship ran into an iceberg and sunk in frigid waters. The ship cost $7 million to build ($150 million in today’s dollars).

10. Tanker Truck vs Bridge – $358 Million

On August 26, 2004, a car collided with a tanker truck containing 32,000 liters of fuel on the Wiehltal Bridge in Germany. The tanker crashed through the guardrail and fell 90 feet off the A4 Autobahn resulting in a huge explosion and fire which destroyed the load-bearing ability of the bridge. Temporary repairs cost $40 million and the cost to replace the bridge was estimated at $318 million.

9. MetroLink Crash – $500 Million

On September 12, 2008, in what was one of the worst train crashes in California history, 25 people were killed when a Metrolink commuter train crashed head-on into a Union Pacific freight train in Los Angeles. It is thought that the Metrolink train may have run through a red signal while the conductor was busy text messaging. Wrongful death lawsuits are expected to cause $500 million in losses for Metrolink.

8. B-2 Bomber Crash – $1.4 Billion

Here we have our first billion dollar accident (and we’re only #8 on the list). This B-2 stealth bomber crashed shortly after taking off from an air base in Guam on February 23, 2008. Investigators blamed distorted data in the flight control computers caused by moisture in the system. This resulted in the aircraft making a sudden nose-up move which made the B-2 stall and crash. This was 1 of only 21 ever built and was the most expensive aviation accident in history. Both pilots were able to eject to safety.

7. Exxon Valdez – $2.5 Billion

The Exxon Valdez oil spill was not a large one in relation to the world’s biggest oil spills, but it was a costly one due to the remote location of Prince William Sound (accessible only by helicopter and boat). On March 24, 1989, 10.8 million gallons of oil was spilled when the ship’s master, Joseph Hazelwood, left the controls and the ship crashed into a reef. The cleanup cost Exxon $2.5 billion.

6. Piper Alpha Oil Rig – $3.4 Billion

The world’s worst off-shore oil disaster. At one time, it was the world’s single largest oil producer, spewing out 317,000 barrels of oil per day. On July 6, 1988, as part of routine maintenance, technicians removed and checked safety valves which were essential in preventing dangerous build-up of liquid gas. There were 100 identical safety valves which were checked. Unfortunately, the technicians made a mistake and forgot to replace one of them. At 10:00 that same night, a technician pressed a start button for the liquid gas pumps and the world’s most expensive oil rig accident was set in motion. Within 2 hours, the 300 foot platform was engulfed in flames. It eventually collapsed, killing 167 workers and resulting in $3.4 billion in damages.

5. Challenger Explosion – $5.5 Billion

The Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after takeoff due on January 28, 1986, due to a faulty O-ring. It failed to seal one of the joints, allowing pressurized gas to reach the outside. This in turn caused the external tank to dump its payload of liquid hydrogen causing a massive explosion. The cost of replacing the Space Shuttle was $2 billion in 1986 ($4.5 billion in today’s dollars). The cost of investigation, problem correction, and replacement of lost equipment cost $450 million from 1986-1987 ($1 billion in today’s dollars).

4. Prestige Oil Spill – $12 Billion

On November 13, 2002, the Prestige oil tanker was carrying 77,000 tons of heavy fuel oil when one of its twelve tanks burst during a storm off Galicia, Spain. Fearing that the ship would sink, the captain called for help from Spanish rescue workers, expecting them to take the ship into harbor. However, pressure from local authorities forced the captain to steer the ship away from the coast. The captain tried to get help from the French and Portuguese authorities, but they too ordered the ship away from their shores. The storm eventually took its toll on the ship resulting in the tanker splitting in half and releasing 20 million gallons oil into the sea. According to a report by the Pontevedra Economist Board, the total cleanup cost $12 billion.

3. Space Shuttle Columbia – $13 Billion

The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space worthy shuttle in NASA’s orbital fleet. It was destroyed during re-entry over Texas on February 1, 2003 after a hole was punctured in one of the wings during launch 16 days earlier. The original cost of the shuttle was $2 billion in 1978. That comes out to $6.3 billion in today’s dollars. $500 million was spent on the investigation, making it the costliest aircraft accident investigation in history. The search and recovery of debris cost $300 million. In the end, the total cost of the accident (not including replacement of the shuttle) came out to $13 billion according to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

2. Chernobyl – $200 Billion

On April 26, 1986, the world witnessed the costliest accident in history. The Chernobyl disaster has been called the biggest socio-economic catastrophe in peacetime history. 50% of the area of Ukraine is in some way contaminated. Over 200,000 people had to be evacuated and resettled while 1.7 million people were directly affected by the disaster. The death toll attributed to Chernobyl, including people who died from cancer years later, is estimated at 125,000. The total costs including cleanup, resettlement, and compensation to victims has been estimated to be roughly $200 billion. The cost of a new steel shelter for the Chernobyl nuclear plant will cost $2 billion alone. The accident was officially attributed to power plant operators who violated plant procedures and were ignorant of the safety requirements needed.

1. 2008 Presidential Election – $800 Billion in the first two months

“Abort Obama, Not the Unborn”

Chip Harrison in Oklahoma City was stopped by police the other day because he had a bumper sticker that read “Abort Obama, not the unborn” on his truck. He was pulled over by the officer and later visited by the Secret Service because of the “threat or harm that might have been.” They then determined that Mr. Harrison was of no threat or harm to the President.

When do the abortionists get visited about being a threat or harm to innocent children?

We Owe This Nation To Them

Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence. Their conviction resulted in untold sufferings for themselves and their families. Of the 56 men, five were captured by the British and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army. Another had two sons captured. Nine of the fifty-six fought and died from wounds or hardships of the war. Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships sunk by the British navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in poverty.

At the battle of Yorktown, the British General Cornwallis had taken over Thomas Nelson’s home for his headquarters. Nelson quietly ordered General George Washington to open fire on the Nelson home. The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt. John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their thirteen children fled for their lives. His fields and mill were destroyed. For over a year, he lived in forest and caves, returning home only to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later, he died from exhaustion.

These men sacrificed all they had to create this nation. They endured pain, torture, and death because they believed people needed a land of freedom where they could live, raise their children, and be safe from dictator rule. They gave all so we could be here today.

Do we not owe it to them to preserve the great land they gave so much for?