The word that is the title for this post sums up most of Mitt Romney’s campaign for president of the US. And Vice President Joe Biden, if you didn’t notice, used the term in his debate with Ryan three times.

Vera H-C Chan writing for The Ticket explained the loaded message behind Biden’s use of ‘malarkey’.

Chan wrote, “‘Malarkey,’ as Merriam-Webster defines it, is ‘insincere or foolish talk.’ It’s a dismissive word to use, with avuncular overtones, and you’d use it to deem something as silliness, bunkum, hogwash—verging on nonsense, you (and a thesaurus) might even say.”

I read that many viewers of the debate turned to the Internet to discover what ‘malarkey’ meant, but I didn’t have to turn to the Internet thanks to my Irish heritage through my father. Lofthouse is a common name in England and Ireland—not Germany as many may think when first hearing my last name.

After the first use of ‘malarkey,’ Raddatz asked what ‘bunch of stuff’ meant and Biden replied, “We Irish call it malarkey.”

If you are interested, here is a link to a printed transcript of the debate.  Why look? Because it is easy to be distracted and miss details when watching TV or listening to radio. And if you don’t want to read it, I have embedded the video of the entire debate with this post so you may watch it as many times as you want to.  After all, the same issues (and ‘malarkey’) that were debated between Romney and President Obama were repeated between Biden and Ryan.

But what it is that Ryan claimed (repeating many of the same claims that Romney made in the first Presidential debate) during the only vice-presidential debate that is malarkey?

To discover that answer, I turned to Fact Before I go on, I want to mention that the Republican Party has done a ‘bunch of stuff’ on Fact to cast doubts on the results they report.  When your political party, the GOP, lies more than the competition, it stands to reason that the results will skew against you and you will attempt to discredit the source.

However, if you click on the link and read the fact checking of the VP debate at Fact, scroll to the end and notice the sources used. Each source—I counted thirty-seven—has a link for anyone to back check what is reported on this site.  Unlike politicians, Fact hides nothing and attempts no ‘malarkey’.

Fact Check used such terms as exaggeration, not true, wrong and false to describe each example of ‘malarkey’. The Fact piece starts with a ‘Summary’, and then a much more detailed ‘Analysis’ of each example of ‘malarkey’ follows.

I do not want to copy and paste what Fact reported, but I will provide a comparative score from the Summary.

Ryan: wrong, wrong, not true, misquoted, not quite, false claim, off-base, collection of misstatements: not true; no, they haven’t; maybe—and a misleading claim.

Biden: exaggerated, misquoted Romney, and again misrepresented the findings of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

The high score reveals the most ‘malarkey’. Ryan’s score was ELEVEN (actually it is THIRTEEN as you shall see) and Biden’s score was THREE. If you divide three into THIRTEEN, we discover that the GOP’s Romney and Ryan used ‘malarkey’ 433 percent more than the Obama and Biden campaign did in this one debate.

In addition, there is a HUGE difference between Ryan’s USE OF WRONG (twice), NOT TRUE (twice), and a FALSE CLAIM in comparison to Biden’s use of ONE EXAGGERATION, ONE MISQUOTE and ONE MISREPRESENTED FACT.

I left out one of Ryan’s misleading claims of Hillary Clinton calling Assad “a different leader” and “a reformer”.  It is true that she did say this in an interview, but she was only reporting what a few congressmen had told her after a congressional visit to Syria to gather facts well before the civil war in Syria broke out. What Ryan did not report was that later Hillary made it clear that President Obama’s administration did not say or agree with what those few congressmen had reported—something Ryan left out of his misleading claim—another use of ‘malarkey’.

Then there is ‘malarkey’ that Fact did not mention.  In an attempt to paint President Obama weak on defense, and I’m sure conservatives will grab this “malarkey” and continue to use it, Ryan said, “If these cuts go through, our Navy will be the smallest—the smallest it has been since before World War I.”

Think about this fact being used to paint Obama weak on defense. In World War I, all military transport to Europe for troops, weapons and supplies was done mostly by the US Navy.

Who moves the most US troops, equipment and supplies today?

Answer: the US Air Force.  America is the only country in the world with the capability of moving armies in days to any spot on the planet—not in weeks or months—that is because of an air force that is 663% larger than Russia’s air force and 352% larger than China’s.

In addition, the United States has the largest Navy in the world with twelve aircraft carriers (with two more under construction—sixteen other naval ships are also under construction) and 3,700 operational naval aircraft.

Global lists 2,385 ships in the US Navy (counting ships held in reserve in case of a conventional global war).  But, how long has it been since the United States fought a war with another major naval power?

The answer to that question is easy: sixty-seven years—the end of World War II in 1945.

Russia, listed as the second most powerful nation militarily has 233 naval ships with only one aircraft carrier, and China, listed third, has 972 ships in her navy with one used, Russian aircraft carrier that is more than twenty-years old. In fact, there are ten countries with aircraft carriers in service—two countries have two and seven each have one carrier.

The US Air Force has 18,234 total aircraft, Russia has 2,749 and China 5,176 military aircraft. Need I say more about this example of Ryan’s use of malarkey?

See the Post about the First Presidential Debate and/or the one Two Days after that Debate


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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