Well that was fast. The election is over and Ronna McDaniel won. That's a huge bummer.

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What a great newsletter. I too am pulling for Dhillon. If the Republican party reelects Ronna McDaniels, they've pretty much signaled what they think of independents like me and what they see themselves as (an underdog party that's happy losing elections and not fulfilling promises as long as the donations keep rolling in, and in fact, that is their raison d'etre).

As for Putin, everyone arguing that we need to keep supplying Ukraine wants two separate paradoxes not to be, well, paradoxes:

(1) Putin is *losing* in Ukraine to a scrappy homegrown poorly equipped military, but somehow he's going to take over the rest of Europe.

(2) Putin is just mad enough to invade Ukraine for no reason and with no exit strategy, but not mad enough to start a nuclear war if he feels cornered.

Those two do not work in any reality and give lie to the idea that we absolutely have to continue supplying Ukraine, or that it's even wise to be waving this red flag in front of this particular bull. We'd be better off dragging Zelensky to the negotiating table and stopping his deadly grift (and, no, I've never trusted him).

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Jan 27Liked by Sasha Stone

I am a Conservative and probably disagree with you on many issues and I think your argument for the GOP to focus on the positive rather than dwell on the negative is overly simplistic. There are some very bad things going on that need to be called out. But having said all that, I also believe you have an open mind and we could probably come to some sort of compromise on most of our disagreements.

I absolutely agree that McDaniel needs to be out as head of the RNC. Why anyone would think that she is the best person to lead the party after her disastrous tenure is beyond me. I think you're probably right that Harmeet Dhillon is the best person available for the job.

You might not be a foreign policy expert Sasha but I also think your instincts on the Ukraine war are spot on. We are being lied to by both parties when they say that this a war about democracy. I think Defense Secretary Austin was being honest when he said that the point of this war was to weaken Russia. I have also heard the argument that this war is a bargain for us because for just a few billion dollars we are able to inflict great damage on Russia's ability to wage war. That this war will also end up with the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians (at least) and the annihilation of Ukraine seems to be of little concern. As you mention, there is also the very real risk this war will escalate beyond control causing unimaginable destruction. This is a bad situation which we are making worse. On the contrary Sasha, I wish people would take your advice on this war.

As I said I am a Conservative and also a Republican, but like you recent events have caused me to change my way of looking at things. I am much more skeptical of corporate power now than I used to be and am much less trustworthy of our intelligence and investigative agencies. I think there should be a number of things disillusioned people on both the right and left can agree on. I know the history of third parties is not a happy one and I'm still hoping that the GOP can be changed from within but I'm not sure anymore.

Keep up your good work Sasha!

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They're probably both very nice people, so absent any serious negatives, the question to ask ourselves is why should we continue to support an individual who has not been able to achieve the goals and objectives for which the job exists. It's like continuing to elect politicians who go to Washington term after term and fail time after time to do the things we sent them there to do....(oh, wait, we do that all the time, don't we?)

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Jan 27·edited Jan 27

Harmeet is also a FAB hand knitter....she made every sweater that you see her wearing on the tellie : )

Yup, It's time for a change - McDaniels has lost three election cycles in a row....

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While I am not registered as a Republican - Texas doesn't register voters by party - I'm much closer to them than to Democrats. As such, I don't give two hoots in a windstorm who is head of the Republican Party. They're mainly a figurehead anyway. As for Dillon, that she is an immigrant may turn people off. (I see that McDaniel won so that's now a moot issue. This brings me to Ukraine.

Now, I've been in a war, I write about war and know what war is about - and I know that Ukraine is NOT our war. It's not "the West's" war either. The problems between Russia and Ukraine are just that, a regional issue dating back for centuries. Blame the Soviets for creating Ukraine in the first place. Putin has accomplished his objectives - driving Ukraine out of Donbas. The ONLY reasons Kiev is still fighting because we keep giving them weapons and because Zelensky is a superstar as you said,. The man is an actor and thinks he has to be center stage. I suspect Ukraine will get tired of him soon and take him out.

I wouldn't worry too much about nuclear war. Putin is not going to use nukes in Ukraine for the same reason the Russian Air Force is not playing a large role - they're being held back for a war with NATO. Nukes are last resort weapons and Russia would only use them as a last resort against the United States and NATO. Hopefully, we won't get the idea we can use them first. For that matter, there is nuclear war and then there is nuclear war. Russia (the United States and others) have low-yield nuclear weapons designed to be used on a battlefield. They could be used without causing worldwide problems. It's the ICBMs and other high yield weapons that are the problem. Russia has the ability to destroy the West. Theoretically, we can destroy them as well but Russia is a large country and their civilization goes back for centuries. We would very likely come out on the losing end. Don't worry about it - the world has been under the threat of nuclear war since 1945.

No, Leftists have not become fascist, they are acting just like the Soviets, Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodians, Cubans and others rooted in Marxism did and do. American Leftists are seeking to become dictators.

Stop saying Republicans lost the last election - they didn't. They now control the House. Biden won't be able to pass another piece of legislation. So what that Democrats control the Senate? There is still one Democrat and a now-Independent who are just as likely to vote with Republicans as with them.

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Compelling argument and I am now onboard. Kinda funny too that you did a post on Influencers and now just flexed it. Lol. Gonna buy more Mr Pillows (they really are good) and support Dhillon. Btw when the so-called Liberals became the biggest defenders of the FBI, CIA, DOJ, DOD and endless war, they also stopped being liberal or freedom loving.

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Many thanks for the Mace transcript. I really like her and hope she has a bright future in politics. She'll certainly get some of my money going forward, that is, if any is left after Uncle Zel comes by again.

I think Dhillon was speaking to Representative Mace and voters like you. It was a call to the disgruntled of every viewpoint in the party. She allied herself with the ardent Trump supporters because they were the ones who could challenge the structure. They recognized a true reform candidate or they would have supported Mike Lindell. I don't think she was anyone's tool. The big donors won that race.

I don't think Donald Trump is the face of the Republican Party going forward either. Frankly, I don't know whom to support. I know, with the certain exception of Tulsi Gabbard, the Democrats would ensure our decline as a decent and just society. We need someone to make us believe in the idea of America. I'm am old man so my nostalgia is no vision for our woke and socialist illness.

Thank you for your thoughtful remarks.

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Agreed that Harmeet would have been fantastic change of direction for the GOP. It seems that Republicans will never learn. :(

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I really wish Ronna wasn’t elected again. I really like that she led Trump’s victory in MI in 2016, but I’m not convinced she’s able to get our candidates over the finish line nationally.

I also like the idea of talking about the positive - what R’s are FOR, not what they are against. Yes, the party has DEEP problems, but some of this is has always been just basic marketing and PR.

People want to feel good about voting for their team. I just don’t get excited voting for R’s because they aren’t as crappy as the Dems. I’ve voted for 3rd parties or not voted in races because both major party candidates just suck and I won’t vote for ‘the less worse candidate’ anymore. If the candidate is bad, they don’t deserve a vote, regardless of party. You can say I was fed up before it was cool.

I just can’t bring myself to say I’m independent because if our candidates actually believed and advocated for the party’s platform, then I wouldn’t have a problem with the party. But candidates need to offer voters more than ‘I’m not a social justice freak’ and ‘tax cuts’. If you can’t make arguments that actually deal with the questions that people are asking, then what are you doing?

People in my generation (X) are a lot more secular and Republicans need to learn the language. You can be culturally conservative w/o being Uber conservative or religious. A lot of my peers have issues with the institutional church and the critiques are well earned and with the younger adults, church isn’t even on the radar. I just don’t think the R’s get the reality of our culture sometimes. They have their bubble and stick to it. I’ve always just wanted to get to 50% + 1 - and that means you need the party to appeal to people outside of the club. And that’s always been the problem ---> They talk a good game about ‘the big tent’, but well, it’s really not that big. They can’t just talk a good game, they need to execute. And usually- they can’t execute.

I doubt Ronna can keep ‘the band’ together ‘for one more election cycle’. Do we really buy that NT’s will vote and work for Trump if he gets the nomination? Independents? I mean, it’s in their name ‘Never’ ‘Trump’. I tend to take them at their word at this point. Do we really believe the Trumpers will support the nominee, if the nominee isn’t Trump? Some might, but I don’t buy we’ll get to 50+ 1, given that it’s Ronna who couldn’t deliver in 18, 20 or 22. I’d love to be proven wrong. I’m just not optimistic.

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In protest of the misuse and overuse of the "F" word, fascism, to the point that it becomes meaningless:

(via Keith Preston, sociologist)


"To get at the underlying reason for this fixation, Kuklick speculates that Americans are somehow unable to deal with the reality that they live in a huge, complex, imperfectly democratic country that has evolved (or strayed) far from the very delimited constitutional system with which the Founders had sought to discipline majoritarian representation. This is probably too subtle. More likely the reason for the mindless ubiquity of the f-word is simply that the era of World War II focused a polemical “fascism” as the only major destructive political alternative to emerge from within Western civilization itself since the 18th century, while association with Hitlerism and the Holocaust lent it a uniquely demonic connotation. All this serves as a mental and political smokescreen.

[->] The “really existing” form of Western proto-authoritarianism doesn’t stem from small, scantily armed “militias” and disoriented “insurrectionists,” nor from a chaotic demagogue such as Trump, but from the state apparatus already functioning.

Government by executive decree rather than elected legislatures, politicized intelligence services, and a biased, coercive judiciary are its key constituents. In advanced democracies, such things function more from the inside out than from the outside in."

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Too bad she lost. She's a litigator, and the RNC needs more of that awareness in charge.

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I wish Harmeet Dhillon could run for president.

Also the American flag comment caught my eye. I lived in a big city for 30 years and towards the end, I’d never have flown an American flag. I just didn’t have the energy to explain I wasn’t a MAGA terrorist or (gasp) a Republican.

My political trajectory follows yours Sasha. I’m out wandering around in the weeds, still a liberal from the 80’s wondering where I can put my “question authority” sticker these days.

I live in the country now and I have my American flag flying. So far no one has cancelled me.

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You had me at your positive review of My Pillow. Have been a Stan for Harmmeet for a long time. She is a smart, unflappable attorney.

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Awesome, Sasha. On Ukraine, just being pragmatic: Putin's win is the globalists' loss. But the losses of this extremely priviledged, wealthy group are nobody else's problem. They help with nothing in any case.

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