You Can’t Unride the Tank

Take a look at this photo to the left.  Those of us over 40 remember it well.

For those of you who don’t, the picture is of Michael Dukakis, the Democratic candidate for President in 1988.  Like most Democrats, he labored under the prejudice that he was anti-military. 

So, in an effort to show Joe Sixpack and Vincent Veteran he could be just as macho and pro-military as any Republican, he commandeered a tank, suited up, and did his best General Patton imitation to the horror of his campaign staff. 

On that autumn day in 1988 he destroyed whatever chance he had of winning the election.  Why?  Because he looked ridiculous.  

He didn’t just destroy his presidential campaign, he obliterated it.  It was one of the worst political gaffes of all time.  And he did it to himself.

“Riding the tank” became an instant meme (before we had memes as such).  Since then, other political operatives have called such gaffes “Dukakis-level gaffes”.  Everybody who has even a modicum of political knowledge knows what this means.  Try as he might, he couldn’t undo the damage and it was only a matter of weeks before he lost the election to Poppy Bush in a blowout almost as big as Reagan’s in ’84 and Nixon’s in ’72.

You can’t “Unride the Tank”. 

I’ll take immediate credit for that one.  Send me all royalties to please.  I’m still waiting for all the ones for Alexandria Occasional-Cortex.

In the video below, you will see Mike Pence similarly destroy his own chances in winning the GOP nomination.  I’d say two or three days ago, he had a 0.3% chance of winning the nomination.  Now it’s at 0.0%.  Maybe even -90%.  Whatever, stick a fork in him, he’s done. 

Why do I say this?  Because Pence said America “was not my concern”.  That’s the equivalent of riding in a tank and throwing rancid scraps of meat to starving masses on top of that.

And like Dukakis, he did it to himself.  

For what it’s worth, Nikki Haley and Asa Hutchinson likewise destroyed their chances for the nomination.  Why?  Because they’re RINOs.  They couldn’t recognize a normal American if their lives depended on it.

In the video below, Razorfist will explain to you in colorful language (caution:  not safe for work) the paucity of the quality of the never-Trumpers trying to snag the nomination.  He also buries the myth of The Golden Don’s “unelectability”:  

I can’t understand the pre-Trumpian GOP.  These guys must be brainwashed RINOs who likewise have brainwashed, morons advising them.  Perhaps they’ve been given a post-hypnotic suggestion to go all week in the knees when they hear the word “Ukraine”. 

Perhaps –and this is the scary part–they think ordinary Americans are salivating at the chance to see their sons die in the steppes of Ukraine. 

Memo to the Pentagon:  if there are any real (i.e. non-woke) men still in charge there, start releasing more Pentagon-style papers immediately, otherwise, nukes will be flying real soon.  And just to make sure, take the Football away from Joe and Kamala as well.  Give them each a briefcase with a dud.  They won’t know the difference.  Please, the world’s survival depends on it.

Ordinarily fine people, RINO’s are triggered when they hear the word “Ukraine”, kind of like a post-hypnotic suggestion which makes them lose their minds and say the stupidest things.  Asa Hutchinson for example thinks castrating little boys is OK.  Nikki is all on board with America blowing up the Nordstream 2 pipeline, the worst ecological disaster since Chernobyl.  How insanely stupid is that?

Mind you, neither Pence nor Hutchinson are Manchurian Candidates (at least I don’t think so).  They are Evangelical Christians.  All I can say at this point is if this is what passes for Evangelical Christians, then this country’s got real problems. 

I suppose the silver lining is that they’ve exposed the fault-line between the MAGA wing and the RINO wing of the GOP once and for all.  This may be their last gasp.  The other candidates (who are also anti-Trumpist RINOs) must be breathing a sigh of relief that Tucker didn’t train his rhetorical guns on them. 

I imagine they may be recalibrating what to say in the future.  One can only hope.  

Who knows?  This debacle may bring them them to their senses.  It won’t be a pretty sight seeing them try to embrace Trumpism; they’ll probably be brought to the nationalist Right kicking and screaming, but at least we have a chance of finally destroying neoconservatism once and for all.  

Remember:  You Can’t Unride the Tank. 



  1. Mike Dukakis was trying to channel his inner
    honey badger (sorry – Margaret Thatcher.)

    The Iron Lady seemed to be wilting in the runup
    to the 1987 UK General Election campaign.
    Her handlers decided to showcase her Iron Will
    and remind us of the Falklands War victory.

    These photos were the result:

    The Daily Telegraph mocked her by saying that she looked like:
    “a cross between Isadora Duncan and Lawrence of Arabia”.

    Nevertheless, she got re-elected – with another large majority.

    • So you’re saying that Thatcher was more of a man than Dukakis . . .

      I can roll with that.

    • I didn’t know that!

      A few points:

      1. Thatcher was the first woman to head a European government,
      2. the Falklands was a great morale boost for the Brits, in other words, she earned it.
      3. In the lower left-hand foto, I can see the whole Lawrence of Arabia theme. (Great movie btw.) and
      4. Sometimes, a stunt such as this can only work once. As said in #2, she earned the photo-op, Dukakis didn’t.

  2. Three globalist stooges


    Good riddance.

  3. “You can’t unride the tank”

    …but you can bridle the bank!

    ‘Vile!’ | Nigel Farage slams NatWest CEO after
    she issued a grovelling apology to him

    [Video – 09:23]

  4. Michael Hudson: ‘America has Just Destroyed a Great Empire’

    ‘ Herodotus (History, Book 1.53) tells the story of Croesus, king of Lydia c. 585-546 BC in what is now Western Turkey and the Ionian shore of the Mediterranean. Croesus conquered Ephesus, Miletus and neighboring Greek-speaking realms, obtaining tribute and booty that made him one of the richest rulers of his time. But these victories and wealth led to arrogance and hubris. Croesus turned his eyes eastward, ambitious to conquer Persia, ruled by Cyrus the Great.

    Having endowed the region’s cosmopolitan Temple of Delphi with substantial silver and gold, Croesus asked its Oracle whether he would be successful in the conquest that he had planned. The Pythia priestess answered: “If you go to war against Persia, you will destroy a great empire.”

    Croesus therefore set out to attack Persia c. 547 BC. Marching eastward, he attacked Persia’s vassal-state Phrygia. Cyrus mounted a Special Military Operation to drive Croesus back, defeating Croesus’s army, capturing him and taking the opportunity to seize Lydia’s gold to introduce his own Persian gold coinage. So Croesus did indeed destroy a great empire, but it was his own.

    Fast-forward to today’s drive by the Biden administration to extend American military power against Russia and, behind it, China. The president asked for advice from today’s analogue to antiquity’s Delphi oracle: the CIA and its allied think tanks. Instead of warning against hubris, they encouraged the neocon dream that attacking Russia and China would consolidate U.S. control of the world economy, achieving the End of History.

    Having organized a coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014, the United States sent its NATO proxy army eastward, giving weapons to Ukraine to fight an ethnic war against its Russian-speaking population and turn Russia’s Crimean naval base into a NATO fortress. This Croesus-level ambition aimed at drawing Russia into combat and depleting its ability to defend itself, wrecking its economy in the process and destroying its ability to provide military support to China and other countries targeted for seeking self-dependency as an alternative to U.S. hegemony.

    After eight years of provocation, a new military attack on Russian-speaking Ukrainians was conspicuously prepared, ready to drive toward the Russian border in February 2022. Russia protected its fellow Russian-speakers from further ethnic violence by mounting its own Special Military Operation. The United States and its NATO allies immediately seized Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves held in Europe and North America, and demanded that all countries impose sanctions against importing Russian energy and grain, hoping that this would crash the ruble’s exchange rate. The Delphic State Department expected that this would cause Russian consumers to revolt and overthrow Vladimir Putin’s government, enabling U.S. maneuvering to install a client oligarchy like the one it had nurtured in the 1990s under President Yeltsin.

    A byproduct of this confrontation with Russia has been to lock in America’s control over its Western European satellites. The aim of this intra-NATO jockeying was to foreclose Europe’s dream of profiting from closer trade and investment relations with Russia by exchanging its industrial manufactures for Russian raw materials. The United States derailed that prospect by blowing up the Nord Stream gas pipelines, cutting off Germany and other countries from access to low-priced Russian gas. That left Europe’s leading economy dependent on higher-cost U.S. Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).

    In addition to having to subsidize domestic European gas to prevent widespread insolvency, a large proportion of German Leopard tanks, U.S. Patriot missiles and other NATO “wonder weapons” are being destroyed in combat against the Russian army. It has become clear that the U.S. strategy is not simply to “fight to the last Ukrainian,” but to fight to the last tank, missile and other weapon being deleted from NATO stocks.

    This depletion of NATO’s arms was expected to create a vast replacement market to enrich America’s military-industrial complex. Its NATO customers are being told to increase their military spending to 3 or even 4 percent of GDP. But the weak performance of U.S. and German arms on the Ukrainian battlefield may have crashed this dream, while Europe’s economies are sinking into depression. And with Germany’s industrial economy deranged by the severing of its trade with Russia, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner told the Die Welt newspaper on June 16, 2023 that his country cannot afford to pay more money into the European Union budget, to which it has long been the largest contributor.

    Without German exports supporting the euro’s exchange rate, the currency will come under pressure against the dollar as Europe buys LNG and NATO replenishes its depleted weaponry stocks by buying new arms from America. A lower exchange rate will squeeze the purchasing power of European labor, while lowering social spending to pay for rearmament and provide gas subsidies is plunging the continent into a depression.

    A nationalist reaction against U.S. dominance is rising throughout European politics, and instead of America locking in its control over European policy, the United States may end up losing – not only in Europe but most crucially throughout the Global South. Instead of turning Russia’s “ruble to rubble” as President Biden promised, Russia’s balance of trade has soared and its gold supply has increased. So have the gold holdings of other countries whose governments are now aiming to de-dollarize their economies.

    It is American diplomacy that is driving Eurasia and the Global South out of the U.S. orbit. America’s hubristic drive for unipolar world dominance could only have been dismantled so rapidly from within. The Biden-Blinken-Nuland administration has done what neither Vladimir Putin nor Chinese President Xi could have hoped to achieve in so short a period. Neither was prepared to throw down the gauntlet and create an alternative to the U.S.-centered world order. But U.S. sanctions against Russia, Iran, Venezuela and China have had the effect of protective tariff barriers to force self-sufficiency in what EU diplomat Josep Borrell calls the world “jungle” outside of the US/NATO “garden.”

    Although the Global South and other countries have been complaining about U.S. dominance ever since the Bandung Conference of Non-Aligned Nations in 1955, they have lacked a critical mass to create a viable alternative. But their attention has now been focused by the U.S. confiscation of Russia’s official dollar reserves in NATO countries. That dispelled the thought of the dollar as a safe vehicle in which to hold international savings. The Bank of England’s earlier seizure of Venezuela’s gold reserves kept in London – promising to donate them to whatever unelected opponents of its socialist regime U.S. diplomats designate – shows how sterling and the euro as well as the dollar have been weaponized. And by the way, what ever happened to Libya’s gold reserves?

    American diplomats avoid thinking about this scenario. They rely to the one unique advantage the United States has to offer. It may refrain from bombing them, from staging a color revolution to “Pinochet” them by the National Endowment for Democracy, or install a new “Yeltsin” giving the economy away to a client oligarchy.

    But refraining from such behavior is all that America can offer. It has de-industrialized its own economy, and its idea of foreign investment is to carve out monopoly-rent seeking opportunities by concentrating technological monopolies and control of oil and grain trade in U.S. hands, as if this is economic efficiency, not rent-seeking.

    What has occurred is a change in consciousness. We are seeing the Global Majority trying to create an independent and peacefully negotiated choice as to just what kind of an international order they want. Their aim is not merely to create alternatives to the use of dollars, but an entire new set of institutional alternatives to the IMF and World Bank, the SWIFT bank clearing system, the International Criminal Court and the entire array of institutions that U.S. diplomats have hijacked from the United Nations.

    The upshot will be civilizational in scope. We are seeing not the End of History but a fresh alternative to U.S.-centered neoliberal finance capitalism and its junk economics of privatization, class war against labor. The idea that money and credit should be privatized in the hands of a narrow financial class instead of being a public utility to finance economic needs and rising living standards is finally facing its reckoning.

    The irony is that America’s historical role has been that although it itself was not able to lead the world forward along these lines, its attempts to lock the world into an antithetical imperial system by conquering Russia on the plains of Ukraine and trying to isolate China’s technology (from breaking the U.S. attempt at IT monopoly) have been the great catalysts pushing the global majority away from them. ‘

    Ecclesiastes 1:9 [KJV]
    The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be;
    and that which is done is that which shall be done:
    and there is no new thing under the sun.