July 30, 2012

"It wasn't very long ago they were trying to tell us that Romney was a bully.... Now he's a wimp?"

Rush Limbaugh riffed on the new Newsweek cover today:
Calling Romney a wimp is aimed at suppressing the white blue-collar vote.  Blue-collar voters hate wimps.  You know, the working white voters that Obama has abandoned, and now whose votes they're trying to suppress, this is all about trying to make those people think that Romney is a wuss....
Rush goes on to say that if anyone's a wuss, it's Obama:
We've all seen Obama throw a baseball.  He looks not even as good as an average girl throwing a baseball....
That is: You want to talk about who's wussiest? We'll crush you. We'll knock you down and cut off your hair...

But what I'd like to say is: Attacking a man as "wussy" is homophobic. Do the Democrats care about gay people or not? The effort to label Romney a "wimp" is a betrayal of liberal values. It's hypocritical.

What's the best response to the Romney's-a-wimp attack?
  
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ADDED: Rush introduced the word "wuss." I changed some of my uses of "wuss" to "wimp." "Wimp" is the word Newsweek used against Romney (and back in 1987 against George H.W. Bush).

ALSO: My quick research says "wuss" and "wimp" mean exactly the same thing. The OED says the origin of "wuss" is "uncertain" and "[p]erhaps a blend of wimp... and puss..." That is, "puss," defined as a name for a cat. "Pussy" — according to the OED, goes back to the 1500s, meaning "A girl or woman exhibiting characteristics associated with a cat, esp. sweetness or amiability." Beginning in 1904, "pussy" is seen denoting "A sweet or effeminate male; (in later use chiefly) a weakling, a coward, a sissy. Also: a male homosexual." "Pussy" meaning "female genitals," goes back to 1699. (And there's this from 1865: "My poor pussy, rent and sore, Dreaded yet longed for one fuck more." "Philocomus" Love Feast.)

The OED defines "wuss" as "A weak or ineffectual person." The earliest usage is from 1976:
1976 Campus Slang (Univ. N. Carolina, Chapel Hill) (typescript) Nov. 6 Come on you wuss, hit a basket..! John's a wuss.
1981 C. Crowe Fast Times at Ridgemont High 57 You out to meet her first, you wuss.
1984 Washington Post (Nexis) 28 Aug. c1 Everybody thinks I'm a wuss. And I don't impress any of the stunt women at all.
1996 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 24 Jan. 29 (caption) Give us y'lunch, Hooper, you great wuss!
2003 R. Williams Fallout 22 Shanice I had him cryin his eyes out to me... Ronnie Wuss.
The OED defines "wimp" as  "A feeble or ineffectual person; one who is spineless or ‘wet.'" The origin is "uncertain," but perhaps based on "whimper." We're told this word is "Used only as a term of abuse or contempt," a notation that doesn't appear with "wuss," which makes me think "wimp" is the harsher word.

The usages of "wimp" go back to 1920:
1920   G. Ade Hand-made Fables 97   Next day he sought out the dejected Wimp.
1964   Amer. Speech 39 119   A baff is ‘a person who does silly things deliberately’; but wimp is still mysterious and undefined in my notes.
1966   Current Slang Winter 8   Wimp, a backward person... He's a real wimp on a date.
1970   N.Y. Mag. 16 Nov. 10/2   That Goodell, he's nothing but a wimp. And this Ottinger, it got so I couldn't stand the sight of him.
1976   New Musical Express 31 July 8/2   Although he's best known here as a fairly muscular MOR wimp,..he has a big reputation as a prodigiously talented multi-media whizz in the States.
1979   T. Gifford Hollywood Gothic (1980) xxii. 220   Solly Roth and his wimp of a son..what a wet bunch that family was.
1981   P. Theroux Mosquito Coast vi. 48,   I can afford to be robbed... But what about the poor wimps who can't afford it?
1984   Sunday Tel. 30 Dec. 15/6   In daily life Ronnie Lee is a wimp. Put him in a balaclava and he thinks he's a he-man.
1985   She July 140/2   Masseur! Huh! He sounds a right little wimp.
I'm interested in that use of "wet" (in the definition and in the 1979 quote). The OED gives as the 15b definition of "wet": Inept, ineffectual, effete; also as quasi-adv. and in comb. wet fish, a wet individual, a ‘drip’. Also spec. in Polit. (see quots. 1981, 1983)." Here are those 2 quotes:
1981   Observer 26 July 12/3   The term ‘Wet’ was originally used by Mrs Thatcher, who meant it in the old sense of ‘soppy’, as in ‘What do you mean the unions won't like it, Jim? Don't be so wet.’ It meant feeble, liable to take the easy option, lacking intellectual and political hardness. Like so many insults, it was gleefully adopted by its victims, and so came by its present meaning of liberal, leftish, anti-ideological....
1983   Age (Melbourne) 5 Oct. 13   Britain's Tory Prime Minister, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, began this vogue terminology by contemptously dismissing dewy-eyed dissenters from her arid Right-wing policies as ‘wet’.
Fascinating! Stepping back, I can see softness and weakness associated with the left. It's the conservatives who think they are hard, strong, manly, and courageous, and this must make liberals want to get the accusation of wussiness/wimpiness going the other way.

And let's not forget that the most famous political use of the word "wimp" was not the 1987 "wimp factor" Newsweek cover. It was "Mush from the Wimp" — which referred to Jimmy Carter. "Mush from the Wimp" has its own Wikipedia page:
On Saturday, March 15, 1980, the Boston Globe ran an editorial that began:
Certainly it is in the self-interest of all Americans to impose upon themselves the kind of economic self-discipline that President Carter urged repeatedly yesterday in his sober speech to the nation. As the President said, inflation, now running at record rates, is a cruel tax, one that falls most harshly upon those least able to bear the burden.
There was nothing exceptional about it except the headline: "Mush from the Wimp". The headline — which was supposed to have read "All Must Share The Burden" — was corrected during the press run after 161,000 copies had already gone to circulation.
In November 1982, Globe editorial page editor Kirk Scharfenberg wrote a op-ed piece discussing his creation of the phrase and the use of "wimp" as a popular political insult afterwards. "I meant it as an in-house joke and thought it would be removed before publication," he explained. "It appeared in 161,000 copies of the Globe the next day."

147 comments:

caseym54 said...

I'd push back with Obama-as-deer-in-headlights.

yashu said...

By the way, Tomasky's the same guy who wrote the following after Romney's NAACP speech:

Until yesterday, I thought of Mitt Romney as a spineless, disingenuous, and supercilious but more or less decently intentioned person who at least wasn’t the race-mongering pyromaniac that some other Republican candidates of my lifetime have been. Then he gave his speech to the NAACP, and now I think of him as a spineless, disingenuous, supercilious, race-mongering pyromaniac who is very poorly intentioned indeed, and woe to us if this man sets foot in the White House as anything but a tourist.

There you have it folks, Romney's a race-mongering pyromaniac wimp! A vulture vampire felonious race-mongering pyromaniac bully wimp.

Carol said...

I thought it was wimp, not wuss.

HA HA HA said...

Go ask Stanley Fish: The only value progressives have is whatever's best for progressives. The charge of hypocrisy is absurd.

deborah said...

I wonder how worried Obama is about the debates?

rcocean said...

Please get it right, Romney is neither a bully nor wimp - he's a dork.

Thank you.

Ann Althouse said...

"I thought it was wimp, not wuss."

Yes, thanks. I reworked the post a bit to account for that. Rush started substituting "wuss."

I want to think about what that means.

Pogo said...

I'm sure that the two blue collar guys who read the final issues of Newsweek will be changing their vote now.

The fun part is watching Romney kick sand in their faces.

"Listen here. I'd smash your face, only you're so skinny you might dry up and blow away."

Marshal said...

Ignore it. The people who theoretically might care will resent the crudity of the appeal. It mostly functions as an left-wing in-group self esteem builder, but it will turn off moderates.

Welcome it, don't do anything to shift the attention.

rcocean said...

Mitt's the kinda guy who was a cheerleader - not a QB. He was the straight A student, who ran cross- country, ran for class president, and just tried too hard. He wasn't disliked but he wasn't really cool.

Obama was the smart pot-head who under-achieved and scored with all the hippy chicks.

pm317 said...

@yashu:A vulture vampire felonious race-mongering pyromaniac bully wimp.

------------
LOL!

Fen said...

JournoList 2.0 is up and running.

For fun, post the above to any MSM site and see how long before they delete it.

rcocean said...

Can Althouse provide a us with several words that mean "effeminate man" and aren't homophobic?

What about "weak sister"; "Limp-wristed" or "Popinjay"?

chickelit said...

Obama...scored with all the hippy chicks.

Maybe in his Dreams...

Now he only provokes fantasies in hippy chicks.

Bob Ellison said...

Homophobic? That reminds me of the knee-jerk racism charge. Why is it homophobic to accuse a man of lack of masculinity?

rhhardin said...

Neither wuss nor wimp has any reference to gay.

Wimp repeats the Maine paper headline about Jimmy Carter, "More Mush from the Wimp," a filler editorial title that they neglected to replace.

shiloh said...

Just another mittens' flip/flop. :-P

As always, he's a confused pup ...

but, but, but flexible!

Saint Croix said...

Attacking a man as "wussy" is homophobic.

No it's not. Wussy is a combination of pussy and wimp. Great word.

You can't assume that a gay man is either of those things. Can you? What about the ancient Greeks? A lot of them were gay. But I wouldn't say Sparta or Athens was full of wussies.

chickelit said...

Attacking a man as "wussy" is homophobic.

It is? Maybe partially. I mean if two limp-wristed guys get together, how do things happen?

Wussy is synomymous with "pussywhipped." POTUS does seem pussywhipped.

Bob Ellison said...

Well, I guess lots of people, especially in playgrounds, still equate wimpiness with homosexuality. I'd really like to see a study that attempted to find the relationship between (1) homosexuality and lesbianism and things like (2) heroism, masculinity, femininity, and similar traits. My guess is the correlation coefficients would come in pretty near zero.

Silly me; there must already be such studies. But I don't browse in those sections.

edutcher said...

It's called desperation and it's in the same league as bumping Halo Joe aside at the convention for Willie.

Ann Althouse said...

But what I'd like to say is: Attacking a man as "wussy" is homophobic. Do the Democrats care about gay people or not? The effort to label Romney a "wimp" is a betrayal of liberal values. It's hypocritical.

Madame, you just broke the code.

shiloh said...

Just another mittens' flip/flop. :-P

It's your side that did it, genius.

rcocean said...

"More Mush from the Wimp," Poor JC, attacked by a 'killer' rabbit, then collapsing while Jogging. His whole Administration seemed ineffectual and wimpy.

In reality Carter was US naval officer, and Bush was decorated WW II naval aviator and almost ended being beheaded on chi-jima. My uncle called McGovern 'whiny willie' but he was a B-24 bomber pilot too.

Our only real wimp president was Clinton a lying, draft dodging, big fatso who played jazz instead of Offensive Guard. He even had the dominatrix wife.

Johanna Lapp said...

Romney uses the word marvelous when he discusses the budget.

He talks like half a fag. But (in the immortal words of Paul Anka) he slices like a fuckin' hammer.

James said...

I want to think about what that means.

...that they're synonyms?

I don't get the homophobia angle. To me, wimp/wuss means cowardly, weak, wishy-washy, servile, etc.

But, hey, if you want to invent some sexual orientation angle for the sake of bloginess, go right ahead. Just don't pretend you're doing exegesis.

Bob Ellison said...

If "wussy" is homophobic, we should have an expression for the phenomenon when people use that word. I propose "cat whistle".

Ron said...

This whole thing is easily solved...3 rounds, bare knuckle brawling...no table legs, chairs, or brass knuckles... Althouse as Ring Card Girl...

Michael K said...

"Can Althouse provide a us with several words that mean "effeminate man" and aren't homophobic?"

How about president bicycle helmet ?

rcocean said...

My they certainly were bawdy back in 1699, its like they were almost like us.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why is it homophobic to accuse a man of lack of masculinity?"

Because it's homophobic to think it's insulting to accuse a man of effeminacy. It's one thing to admire masculinity, but another to disparage a person because he reminds you of women. This idea that you're really getting at a man by saying he's like a woman -- that goes along with disliking gay men.

(It doesn't depend on thinking that weak men are gay or that gay men are weak. I'm analyzing the mindset of the person who thinks he's getting out a great insult by calling a man a wimp or a wuss.)

Comanche Voter said...

Tomasky--who I think is the lefty who coudn't keep his job at the Manchester Guardian--has a severe case of cranial rectal insertion.

Amartel said...

Ignore. Let others point out that an alpha male does not need the school newspaper geeks, especially a functionally retarded one who looks and acts a lot like Philip Seymour Hoffman in Boogie Nights, to tell everyone else what's up.
Obama is a little beta crybaby. Or a composite of various little beta crybabies. We all know it. Even the tools in here know it. (Don't bother denying, tools.)

Does Newsweek even matter at all to anyone? Even my dentist doesn't carry Newsweek. It's main function at this point is to throw garbage at the wall and see if anything sticks. Remember the "Socialism" cover? The cover with the racist white baby? The cover with the 5 year old nursing?It also seems to function as a barometer on the hermetically sealed progressive echo chamber. If Newsweek goes out of business the rest of us will have no way of telling whether anyone's still alive in there.

Big Mike said...

@Professor, you answered my question before I got a chance to ask it.

But! I would like to assert that lack of masculinity does not imply effeminacy. Let's look at it from the contrapositive side. Are effeminate women necessarily wusses?

David said...

The dictionary is out of date.

Guys use the term pussy all the time when harassing each other, mostly in jest. It means weak, perhaps girlish, but not homosexual. Mostly it connotes weakness or cowardice.

Wuss or wussy I've always seen used as a riff on pussy. Same meaning, not involving gayness.

Wimp has a similar connotation, but perhaps more associated with lack of effort or drive.

As to contradictions with liberal values, their values are Al Davis values. "Just win, baby."

Bob Ellison said...

I'm analyzing the mindset of the person who thinks he's getting out a great insult by calling a man a wimp or a wuss.

That is a good analysis for many people. It is false for some others. Witness the arguments above; many are calling you out for making the assumption that "wuss" is a homophobic comment. Some of us conservatives think that's an insult to our intelligence and analystical ability.

Bob Ellison said...

"analystical"-- great word! So many potential meanings!

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Bob Ellison said...
If "wussy" is homophobic, we should have an expression for the phenomenon when people use that word. I propose "cat whistle".

7/30/12 7:39 PM

That's some good snark there.

Tim said...

"Attacking a man as "wussy" is homophobic. Do the Democrats care about gay people or not?"

Why should they?

Gay people care about themselves as much as black people care about themselves, which is about as much as pro-abortion feminist people care about themselves, as it relates to their votes for the Democrats - they're all happy to ride at the back of the bus - because sometime, someday, they expect something from their unreasonable loyalty to the Democrats.

Funniest of all, the Democrats know this, so they not only expect to get away with it with impunity, they embrace the tactic without shame.

They can insult gays, blacks, etc., etc., etc., and the same old morons will continue to cough up votes for the Democrats.

It's immutable.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...
Why is it homophobic to accuse a man of lack of masculinity?

Because it's homophobic to think it's insulting to accuse a man of effeminacy.


Lack of masculinity does not always translate as homosexual.

Some guys are macho, always trying to prove something; others are just get the job done quietly.

Some are braggarts, some are modest.

If Ann thinks this is the difference between hetero- and homosexual, she's got a much more different idea of the word, masculinity, than most.

Wimp or wuss is essentially non-assertive, ineffectual, even cowardly. Those are not automatically traits that cast someone as homosexual in most peoples' eyes.

YMMV.

garage mahal said...

Romney is a wuss because it took a bunch of his friends to hold down the kid to cut his hair. Not good sport.

rcocean said...

"If Ann thinks this is the difference between hetero- and homosexual, she's got a much more different idea of the word, masculinity, than most."

She is, after all, a girl.

Colonel Angus said...

Please get it right, Romney is neither a bully nor wimp - he's a dork.

Based upon what standard? After seeing President Obama throw the first pitch in his Mom jeans and that ridiculous picture of him riding a bike, I would say he set the dork bar rather high.

chickelit said...

@Garage: Romney was just caught up in the 1965 zeitgeist: link

Crimso said...

"You know, the working white voters that Obama has abandoned, and now whose votes they're trying to suppress"

I'm told the best way to suppress their votes would be to ask them to show an ID at the polls.

Palladian said...

Since we're talking words here, I'd just like to repeat my utter contempt for the word "homophobic". Related to its origin as a quasi-medical term, it's entirely inapt, for both literal and figurative reasons. Literally the nasty little hybrid means 'same fear' (or 'man fear', if you read homo as Latin instead of Greek), which doesn't make any sense. 'Same fear'? 'Fear of the same'? Fear of the same what?

Second, to accuse someone of 'homophobia' is to make a pseudo-psychiatric diagnosis, which is an abhorrent practice that's all too commonly deployed in our culture (see media coverage of the Aurora, CO shootings, for example), and should be resisted.

One doesn't need to rely on some bogus, pseudo-Freudian accusation of another person's internal motivations. 'Homophobia' is a diagnosis of motivations, not a descriptive term of what most people are trying to convey when they say someone or something is 'homophobic'. What most people mean to say when calling someone or something 'homophobic' is actually that the subject is anti-gay, or expressing an anti-gay opinion. Now, I don't think "anti-gay" is a particularly lovely construction, nor am I totally satisfied with the term "gay". But "gay" is better than "homosexual" because it's simpler, and "anti-gay" is better than "homophobic" because it's much more apt than an attempted psychological diagnosis.

Hagar said...

I didn't know Newsweek still was in print.

AllieOop said...

I have a pet wussy.

Colonel Angus said...

I'd just like to repeat my utter contempt for the word "homophobic". Related to its origin as a quasi-medical term, it's entirely inapt, for both literal and figurative reasons.

I would agree. Gay men couldn't strike fear into a rabbit. Gay clowns are another matter entirely which is why seeing Tim Curry as Pennywise will give me nightmares for days.

Lem said...

Obama was elected on account of his race..

So any attack on him, is, by virtue of how he got there...

So.. dont attack him in any way... and hope the country can survive another four years.

n.n said...

The appropriate response is to laugh and reminisce about youthful innocence.

Palladian said...

Wimp or wuss is essentially non-assertive, ineffectual, even cowardly. Those are not automatically traits that cast someone as homosexual in most peoples' eyes.

I would say that using "wuss" or "wimp" to describe a man is more of a misogynist practice than an anti-gay practice. The negative connotations of supposed female traits and qualities in a man has little to do with attitudes toward male same-sex orientation and almost everything to do with a negative assessment of women. I believe that gay men are denigrated and discriminated against because of their presumed similarity to women rather than the fact that they have sex with other men (discounting that as a female trait).

Ben said...

"Liberal values"? Liberals value winning elections. Everything else is secondary.

edutcher said...

garage mahal said...

Romney is a wuss because it took a bunch of his friends to hold down the kid to cut his hair. Not good sport.

that makes the entire Left a bunch of wusses because it took the whole Lefty Establishment to go after one woman, Sarah Palin.

Yeah, all the working class heroes ganging up on one girl.

Now, that's wussy.

WV "kingfurt" Not sure, but it sounds like Jenna Jameson's date for the evening.

chickelit said...

I have a pet wussy.

Does do tricks and come when called?

Alex said...

What a horrible week for Mittens. First he steps into it with insulting Britain, then he incites a war with the Palestinians over Jerusalem and calling Pali-culture inferior to Jewish culture. Mittens just can't help being a total idiot. I see Obama winning 400+ electoral votes now.

Seeing Red said...

Alex, you are soooo funny! Mitt's comments show the true wusses! Who knew the truth gives the world the vapors?

Aaron said...

Something funny, that Jon Chait at NY Mag mentioned, is that the actual Newsweek story gives several examples of Romney as a wimp that do not prove wimpiness at all and are contradictory to the point of the story.

Eric said...

But what I'd like to say is: Attacking a man as "wussy" is homophobic

I disagree. It's casting aspersions on his strength. What they're trying to imply, for example, is people like Merkel or Putin would take advantage of the US if Romney were president. There's nothing sexual about wanting a leader who won't be pushed around by the other big kids on the block.

ricpic said...

...it's homophobic to think it's insulting to accuse a man of effeminacy.

Er, excuse me, but would you, Althouse, consider it a compliment if someone, male or female, described you as being a manly woman?

Instead of going into kneejerk feminist mode, think about it.

Quaestor said...

Ann wrote:
The effort to label Romney a "wimp" is a betrayal of liberal values. It's hypocritical.

It's certainly hypocritical, but i't not a betrayal of liberal values, at least the liberal "values" I have come to know. Obama is totally invulnerable to any charge of hypocrisy, you might as well charge him with being a avid golfer. Liberals are the fish which swim in the Sea of Hypocrisy.

AndyN said...

Why is anybody talking about something that was written in an opinion magazine that was sold for $1? If conservatives weren't complaining about this cover, I doubt anybody would even know it existed outside of a tiny inbred community of leftist true believers.

ricpic said...

Hey Alex, step away from the liquor cabinet.

shiloh said...

Interesting mittens says "they" called Bush41 a wimp also and he was a great president. Indeed, such a great president he received ((( 37.5% ))) in '92.

Oops!

creeley23 said...

Romney's stand that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel is a subtle point for many people, but for those paying attention -- certainly the Obama administration, the UN, the State Dept., Europeans, Israelis, and Islamists, it is the 2012 version of JFK's "Ich bin ein Berliner."

It's probably the most serious sound bite in the last six months.

Not. A. Wimp.

Lionheart said...

Much ado about squat

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shiloh said...

Which begs the question:

Will Reps "allow" Bush41 to attend their 2012 convention in Tampa now that junior er Bush43 has already bugged out lol. Rhetorical.

btw, Bill Clinton will again be a prime time speaker at the Dem convention and his current approval rating is ((( 66% !!! ))).

carry on

Colonel Angus said...

It's one thing to gang up on a kid and cut his hair when you're sixteen or seventeen.

But to tell people when you are an adult that you don't remember doing it is just crazy.


Having a bad memory from events 40 years prior qualifies as crazy?

gk1 said...

I do marvel at how dutifully newsweak launches an obama meme and the other "news" outfits repeat it and then they sit back and see if it has legs. "Hmm no takers. Fine. 'Romney is a poopy pants'. Lets see if that works. Time Magazine, its your turn". This one doesn't have legs and will be quickly forgotten after obama shoots his other foot on the campaign trail

creeley23 said...

shiloh: You're whistling past the graveyard. The dynamics of the former presidents, their parties and the upcoming conventions are entirely idiosyncratic.

Tell us -- are you confident that that Democrats are going to hold the White House and the Senate in November?

I'll bet not.

And based on what I read from the Obama campaign emails I receive, Obama's people are not either.

I won't say it will be a landslide, but I do believe the Republicans will take the White House and the Senate, while holding the House.

If you think different make your argument. Otherwise -- big hat, no cattle.

Colonel Angus said...

Bill Clinton will again be a prime time speaker at the Dem convention and his current approval rating is ((( 66% !!! ))).

It's a pity for the Democrats he's not able to run.

Bob Ellison said...

shiloh, you're getting pretty far from the topic in question. Beware Meade's delete button!

But since you ask, and since I'm game for such distant fields, I'll say it's an interesting question. Bill Clinton will, for most voters, recall to mind a prosperent era. His speech at the DNC might gather support.

The two Presidents Bush might not make similar speeches. Neither is as good a speaker as Clinton. Will that make a big difference?

Republicans tend not to think the man makes the difference. I'm a Republican, and I don't think Clinton will make the difference.

XRay said...

Back in the day, Cave women were inside the cave, for the most part and righteously so. Cave men, were outside the cave, again, mostly righteously so. Where was a homosexual back then? Either place perhaps.

But don't call me homophobic because I equate the 'men' in the cave with the women, pussies. They were.

I tolerate them, but they are not necessarily necessary.

Paul said...

Face is Obama is a "wuss" AND a "wimp."

His basketball stuff was faked, his bicycle is a girls bike, his baseball pitch was like a 3ed graders, and well, athleticly he's pretty sad. His golf game, even with all the practice he gets, isn't hot either.

And THEN there is his handling of the economy, foreign policy, budget, etc.. you know the job he is SUPPOSED to do, is well, like, he doesn't even really want the job. Yes he wants the pay and perks, but not the job.

"Wuss", "Wimp"? How about BORN LOSER.

bagoh20 said...

I never thought of wimp or wuss as being gay. If they seem like some kind of synonym, then you need to get out more and meet more gay men. There are a lot of ass kickers.

I think the left should be ashamed of using "wimp" or "wuss" because it's endorsing bullying, and teaching the yununs bad habits. Besides, the wimps and wusses are Democrat constituencies. Next they'll be calling deadbeats a bunch of freeloaders or vise versa. Don't crap where you eat, Dems.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shiloh said...

"Beware Meade's delete button!"

Meade used to have a fetish re: deleting posts, including mine, but the madame must have had a talk w/him about his recklessness lol.

Re: makin' a case:

How pissed off are Reps gonna be when "their" con billionaires outspend Obama 5 to 1, w/Republican voter disenfranchise laws in effect, etc. and mittens still loses! Rhetorical.

creeley23 said...

shiloh: More graveyard whistling.

If you think your guy's gonna win and bring others along on his coattails, declare it and support it.

Otherwise you're begging the question -- proving your argument using your assumption.

chickelit said...

phx is really hung up on that haircut thing, it seems. Nevermind that I posted a link to a pop song showing that such animosity towards "girly hair" was all too common in 1965.

But phx thinks it's a real gamechanger--prima facie evidence of Mitt Romney's true inner character now so carefully repressed.

chickelit said...

In reality, phx's obsession tells us more about phx than it does about Mitt Romney.

Chip Ahoy said...

I remember the day very clearly on that Pennsylvania mountain where the radar was located that my brother told me I threw like a girl thus crushing my dream of becoming a pitcher for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. I picked up the nearest rock and threw it at him.

When I tell that story I pick up the nearest thing and hold it behind my head like I'm going to throw it over my head like a girl. It never fails to crack everybody up because there is no way for them to expect me to transform like that, instantly into a ridiculous rock-throwing girl exploding with impotent anger.

Revenant said...

The terms "wimp" and "wuss" have no homosexual overtones in modern usage.

Revenant said...

How pissed off are Reps gonna be when "their" con billionaires outspend Obama 5 to 1

When are these mysterious Gnomes of Zurich planning to start this spending spree? The election's only 3 months away.

elkh1 said...

Dog transporter vs dog eater.
The Wimp vs the Wuss.

gk1 said...

I heard a rumor from the McCaskill camp she is changing her mind and going to the DNC convention afterall since she is a goner. Caterers and vendors are demanding cash only. Kind of like a restaurant when its on its last legs.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/missouri-sen-mccaskill-trails-republican-challengers-poll/story?id=16886095

JohnBoy said...

I love this post-modern parsing of words like pussy, wussy, wimp, puss and wuss.

Apropos of nothing, Pussy Riot was on trial today in Russia. None of the other above words work so well.

traditionalguy said...

Romney consistantly uses the "be nice" tactic. It works with most men and nearly all women and church folks.

It is also happens to be the primary characteristic of a good man who wants to see good things for others. But that can really irritate people who don't want his help. Many will react to his niceness by calling him effeminate names as a counter insult for in effect being told they need Romney's help.

There is also a chance that Romney doesn't have a war face tough guy in his skill set. But neither did the sweet Ronnie Reagan. Reagan had to ride horses and work a ranch to appear a hard man type. Even the Yalie legacy W had to do that for appearances sake despite being a skull and bones man.

As for Kenyan Royalty like Obama I, he cannot be judged. In his African culture The Big Man alone is in charge of everything. His words are authority. I bet No one has seen a masculine portrayal of a Pharoah.

As for Romney, it's an Anglo-Saxon thing that.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Amazing how black and white the "nuance" crowd can get when tings don't go their way.

Pat said...

The Philacomus quote is the funniest shit I have read on a blog in a long while It was a loud guffaw.

On another subject - Ann, wtf is up with Romney's wife's dress on Drudge? That's as hideous as your quote was funny.

Tim said...

AllieOop said...

"I have a pet wussy."

No doubt you do.

Most men prefer the transposition of that, for whatever that's worth, lol.

PaulV said...

Next Newsweak cover

http://triangle.johnlocke.org/blog/?p=14969

shiloh said...

"When are these mysterious Gnomes of Zurich planning to start this spending spree? The election's only 3 months away."

Like your hyperbole, mine was a tad over the top as well. :-P Much like Althouse's ad nauseam negative Obama threads and her relentless smitten w/mittens positive Romney threads. Although not sure what category this thread qualifies as.

>

In any event, said article calls mittens a wimp 'cause he is constantly caving to extreme conservatives trying to win their blessings lol.

Conservative radio host pressures Romney, then mocks him for caving

Death, taxes, mittens trying to please everyone, thereby pleasing no one!

William said...

Now you gods stand up for wusses. I have walked down many mean streets and I owe my continued existence on this harsh planet to my ability to wimp out. Consider this: if either Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin were a wimp, both would be alive and having far better lives at this moment. Wimpiness is a survival skill. Don't entrust your fate to any man who's so protective of his bubble reputation that he won't dodge the canon's mouth. Real men aren't afraid to be wimps.

Revenant said...

In any event, said article calls mittens a wimp 'cause he is constantly caving to extreme conservatives trying to win their blessings lol.

Translation: left-winger calls moderate a wimp for listening to right-wingers.

Boring partisanship.

yashu said...

Ah, the schizophrenia of spin. Romney won't denounce Rush, or repudiate Trump, or admonish his supporters for heckling! The Romney/ GOP/ PAC juggernaut are a ruthless army of vicious assassins! Romney's offended the NAACP! Romney's offended Palestinians! Romney doesn't care what the rest of the world thinks! …

… Romney's trying to please everyone, he's a panderer and a wimp!

I.e., Romney's not trying to please you or pandering to you or your Dem/ leftist/ progressive sensibilities. So that means he must be a wimp.

shiloh said...

As mentioned to Althouse, feel free to stop apologizing/rationalizing for mittens at any time ... or not!

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that what you are seeing is the "nice Mormon" thing. Superficially, they are most often nice. And, for the most part, they are good people. But, a lot of them do have a hard edge to themselves - it is just that it isn't seen that much by us gentiles.

Nobody gets to where Romney got doing what he did by not having a hardness. No matter how much he sugar coated things, he still had to fire people, shut down divisions, etc. And, he was able to do this quickly and cleanly. Almost routinely. He had to kick a lot of ass to get where he is.

What I think that you need to do here is look at how many and how often the two candidates had to make hard decisions throughout their working lives. We know that Obama didn't have to, and indeed, while in the U.S. Senate refused to make decisions or commitments, often voting "present" on controversial measures. And, as a result, he has seemed almost incapable of making major decisions while President. For example, it is alleged that the operation to take out OBL was scratched three times before being allowed to proceed, out of fear of what might happen to his Presidency if it failed.

Obama's campaign here has a real problem, and that is that their candidate often comes across as more timid, and more of a wuss, than Romney. Sure, he seems sometimes to enjoy male companionship at the expense of female, but that is not the least surprising, living with the intimidating Michelle, and an all-female family. Yes, he plays basketball, but what else does he do that is the least bit manly? If nothing else, there is something manly about Romney with his five sons, and their wives and family - the traditional patriarch thing (and, yes, apparently, he does play that role sometimes, like when the annual family retreat is a command performance for all of his family).

I think in the end, this tactic is going to fail with the Obama campaign. He just doesn't come across as more manly or masculine than Romney, which is, I think, maybe a fairly low bar.

yashu said...

Bruce, interesting thoughts; I agree. I smile at the "nice Mormon" thing, because of the heartless vampire vulture thing and also because not too long ago Romney was supposedly a big old meanie whose campaign made his primary opponents cry (or lose their shit). Let's hope that before this is over Romney will have the same effect on Obama (if he hasn't already).

Romney was very 'steady as he goes' through the primaries, I expect he'll be steady as he goes until the election. It's the Obama campaign that's wildly tacking and jibing all over the place.

yashu said...

This Newsweek cover tells me the "cruel Bain bully" angle isn't working for the O campaign, and might be backfiring. Otherwise the JournoList 2.0 MSM (as Fen aptly calls it) wouldn't now push a meme that so undermines it.

It may be that the negative personal attacks on Romney are hurting Obama's "likability." It's hard to paint the other guy as a mean bully when Americans perceive your campaign to be mean bullying, so the O camp has to resort to this line instead: it's not that we're so negative, it's that the other guy's too much of a wimp to take it. (I guess it's wimpy to object to an accusation of felony.)

Yet this would seem to undermine the whole "Romney's such a mean bully, he's taking Obama out of context" clamor of the last few weeks. Which tells me that's not working for O either.

What happened to the insensitive bully Romney who went to the NAACP to offend them to their face (NB "offend" = criticize Obama)? If the NAACP speech had hurt Romney (or the anti-Romney MSM spin afterward had worked), they'd be pushing the "bully" not "wimp" angle. But if instead the NAACP speech helped Romney, made him look confident and secure (and even earned him a standing ovation from the NAACP), then that must be quashed forthwith: so, Romney's a "spineless" "wimp."

I suspect all the Bain bashing may have had a perverse effect. It doesn't make Romney "likable," of course, but it may have made him look… like an alpha.

Half joking here, but consider that the gender gap has narrowed. Women out there, reading their Shades of Grey books… Maybe an alpha male who isn't necessarily "likable," but knows what he's doing, knows how to do things (ahem, re the economy) looks good right now. So forget what we JournoListers said about Romney being a bully: Romney's actually a wimp.

Obama's got to hold on to his "gutsy call" mantle… and that mantle is fraying.

yashu said...

There's also a whiff of concern trolling in this cover.

From the perspective of an Obama supporter (or Democrat), it doesn't make much sense to criticize Romney (or a Republican)-- the guy attacking your guy-- as a wimp. I mean, what's not to like? Wimpy Republicans are their favorite kind! And the usual Democratic message to independents is that the Republican guy is scary, not wimpy.

But the "wimp" accusation does echo conservative concerns that Romney would run a McCain 2.0 campaign (which he manifestly has not: Obama wishes). So the "wimp" meme may in part be a lame attempt to dampen conservative support for Romney… even though all the examples of supposed wimpiness in the article are from an anti-conservative perspective, i.e. "Romney won't stand up to conservatives" actually means "Romney won't cave in to Axelrod and the pro-Obama MSM."

Of course, this kind of over-the-top MSM bias only rallies conservative support. So good luck with that, JournoList 2.0.

Saint Croix said...
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kimsch said...

Big storm rolled through so I'm between sleeps. At least I hope I'll be able to get back to sleep in a bit. Otherwise I'm up until bedtime tonight.

Wimp connotes to me cowardly or afraid. Wuss does as well. Guys will goad each other on to do something like steal a pack of gum from a store or jump off a height or something else generally stupid (maybe stuff like in Jackass) and say to the guy who's balking: "Don't be a wimp. Don't be a wuss."

I've never associated either word with homosexuality or homophobia (a word I believe is constantly misused. People aren't "afraid" of homosexuals.)

Revenant said...

Romney is a wimp. And a wuss. And a bully. He's a... wully. A wully bully.

He has 2 big horns. And a wooly jaw.

Saint Croix said...
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Saint Croix said...
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Saint Croix said...

it's homophobic to think it's insulting to accuse a man of effeminacy. It's one thing to admire masculinity, but another to disparage a person because he reminds you of women. This idea that you're really getting at a man by saying he's like a woman -- that goes along with disliking gay men.

Seinfeld does a great routine about this. "I'm not gay! Not that there's anything wrong with that."

It's going to be really fun to insult liberals in the future, because they will have to deny any and all insults. "I'm not a pussy! Not that there's anything wrong with that."

"I'm not a fat ass! Not that there's anything wrong with that."

Eventually the left will realize that it's hateful to hate the haters. "I'm not a racist! Not that there's anything wrong with that."

edutcher said...

shiloh said...

Which begs the question:

Will Reps "allow" Bush41 to attend their 2012 convention in Tampa now that junior er Bush43 has already bugged out lol. Rhetorical.


Dubya does the classy thing. bathtub swabbie wouldn't know it if it jumped up and hit him in the face.

btw, Bill Clinton will again be a prime time speaker at the Dem convention and his current approval rating is ((( 66% !!! ))).

Only because the Bushes rehabilitated his image; too bad the credulous still believe the lies about his economy.

And having him there is a sure sign of desperation.

PS bathtub swabbie hides out all week and then shows up on the overnight for only one night.

Another sure sign of desperation.

dreams said...

For a perfect personification of a wimp, see..

("JOURNALISM: Jonah Lehrer resigns from New Yorker after fabricating Bob Dylan quotes in ‘Imagine.’

Posted at 11:23 pm by Glenn Reynolds") and follow the links to see his picture.

shiloh said...

B Hayden's gobbledygook would be pertinent lol if the average/undecided swing voter was a psychiatrist. Again, presidential elections aren't that complicated as it comes down to likability. And mittens wasn't very likable before Newt/Santo/Perry started telling the truth about him in the primary.

>

And as always Althouse, give my #1 obsessed/nonsensical groupie, your #1 sycophant, edutcher, a hug! :)

Saint Croix said...

The sex wars between Time and Newsweek are interesting. Wimp, wussy, pussy--all of these are insults that men say to one another. Why are they insults? Basic Freud. You haven't separated from your mother. You're not independent. You're weak. You're helpless. You're not a man.

So Time Magazine runs this cover.

We're all just little boys, sucking on big mama's tit.

Meanwhile, Tina Brown calls Obama gay and then calls Romney a wimp.

Obviously Tina Brown is belittling Romney. And while Brown may think she's saying something nice about Obama by calling him gay--since she gives him a halo--she might be subconsciously mocking him a little, too.

After all, Obama's not gay. He has a wife and two kids.

This idea that you're really getting at a man by saying he's like a woman -- that goes along with disliking gay men.

Of course it's an insult to call a man a pussy. Of course it's an insult to call a straight man a homo.

People have identities. When you deny someone's identity, and you redefine who they are for them, you are claming a power over them. And you're doing it against their will. Of course it's an insult.

Just imagine the reverse situation. I tell a lesiban that she's actually straight. I define her sexuality for her. Am I being rude and obnoxious? Yes, of course.

And it would be bullshit for me to pretend that my insult is not an insult because there's nothing wrong with being straight. It's an insult because I am redefining who she is, against her will.

I suspect Tina Brown would not like it if she was put on the cover of a magazine, and it said "Our Favorite Lesbian" or "Likes to Be Spanked."

Paco Wové said...

"I want to think about what that means."

Perhaps you overthink. Sometimes a wimp is just a wimp.

Jay said...

The White liberals at Newsweak think Obama is not a wuss because he's black.

Remember, the only interactions with blacks the white liberals at Newsweak have is via television.

creeley23 said...

Again, presidential elections aren't that complicated as it comes down to likability.
-- shiloh


Which is why Richard Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern, the latter by a landslide.

There are those who argue that Nixon would have beaten JFK too, were it not for vote fraud in Chicago.

Of course, Nixon's charm and likeability were legendary.

shiloh said...

Re: likability Nixon received (49.5%) in 1960, yet only (43.4%) in 1968. And of course, had the power of incumbency in '72 runnin' against a very weak Dem. Nixon was also a wartime incumbent in '72 having kept his secret plan to end the Vietnam War a secret ... to this day. :-P

Again, cons are voting against Obama, rather than for mittens as about 30% of Reps actually like Romney!

take care, blessings

>

btw, likability is why you won't see Bush43 or cheney at a Rep convention anytime soon lol.

Pay no attention to what happened between 2001/2009, eh.

LordSomber said...

The true wimp is the man who's never had a real job in his life. Figure it out.

Carnifex said...

Goes to the NAALCP and tells them to be more personally responsible, Goes to London and tells the Brits you're doing it wrong, goes to Israel and tells the Jews way to go guys, thus antagonizing every mother lovin' Arab in the world...Yeah, that's whimpy alright.

Not at all like our Co-Commander in Chief(when Valerie lets him off his leash) who bows down to foriegn dictators, allows terrorists into the WH on a regular basis, and has to be dragged kicking and screaming into the warroom while Seal Team 6 kills the most wanted man in the world. You know...the one responsible for killing thoudsands of Americans.

Ps.

Remind me...did his opening day pitch make it to home plate on the fly or on the bounce? Either way, it had to be the Mom jeans. I heard Chris Matthews actually creams his jeans when Zero takes the stage, but that's just a rumor.

A scene from the Oval Orifice:

Chrissy Matthews, standing alone, fidgetting. Zero enters.

0: "Well hello Chris...How are you today?" 0 exrends hand to shake Chrissy's damp limp paw.

CM: "WWWW...hhh....uuu....nnnn...aaaa...hhhh!" CM falls to the floor convulsing in paroxisms of...of...whatever sycophants feel.

0: Hurries over to desk, presses intercom. "Could some one get a doctor for Chris...Yes...Yes, again. Thank you" 0 turns around, faces the ceiling and cries, "Damn you God! Why did you make me so overpoweringly masculine!"

scene fade out.

Carnifex said...

@shiloh

What's your pointman? We don't like Bush, Cheney, and Zero. None of whom is going to speak at the R convention? Or is it that the only reason Bush/Cheney won is because the liberal leftist candidate was SOOO bad everyone voted for Bush anyway? Sorta like this years election?

I haven't been exactly moderate in my disdain for Romney. Fact is I'd rather not vote for him. But if the choice is a fresh shit sandwich vs. a warmed over shit sandwich...

At least Romney hasn't pledged to be "more flexible" to Rootin' Tootin' Putin like the Appeaser in Chief has, so I can hold out some hope that he isn't an out and out traitor to our country.

lemondog said...

He is either a bimp or a wully.

Or more likely a pimplybuwl.

Roger J. said...

The media reports of Mr Romney's "gaffes" notwithstanding, it appears he did quite well in Jersulam (the capitol of Israel) and Mr Walensa won his endorsement.

So in Isreal he pissed off the ragheads in Palestine--good for him.

Now purported "gaffes" from a candidate pale in comparison to the gaffer in chief--talking about the Malvinas rather than the Falklands, thereby poking our British allies, and even then using the Maldives rather than the Malvinas. Our President is a bona fide idiot.

The President is a douche of the highest order.

Roger J. said...

I would also suggest that most Americans, mired in a double dip recession with GDP growth around one percent, dont really much care about foreign policy.

Although Obama's foreign policy is vulnerable--We have several major foreign policy threats: Vladimar Putin and China--We underestimate both at our peril.

MadisonMan said...

The true wimp is the man who's never had a real job in his life. Figure it out.

Paul Ryan?

rhhardin said...

Wimp is one letter from wisp.

phx said...

So in Isreal he pissed off the ragheads in Palestine--good for him.

Ragheads. Make sure to act all offended when someone says you're a racist.

shiloh said...

Carnifex, I feel your pain! As Althouse and her con lemmings turn into pretzels trying to defend/rationalize mittens.

Thornharp said...

I was surprised to see that in exploring the etymology of 'wimpy', no one mentioned Wimpy from the Popeye comics.

rhhardin said...

Shortest thesaurus path from wimp to bully

wimp weakling milksop dastard scoundrel ruffian bully

Ambiguous word most closely covering both wimp and bully: worm.

Roger J. said...

PHX: I frankly dont give a shit if anyone calls me a racist, least of all pond scum like you--thats your problem not mine.

phx said...
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shiloh said...

Roger J., how to win friends and influence swing voters lol. So much conservative anger, so little time!

Roger J. said...

PHX--that works for me

Roger J. said...

Shilo: I am not in the business in winning friends--I will leave that to our political class--now as we quakers say: fuck thee

phx said...
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Roger J. said...

PHX--I am not at all offended--why do you think I am angry? I am not angry at all--precisely how did you draw that conclusion? I just dont like rag heads--

phx said...
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phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

PHX: let me be perfectly clear: I really dont give a shit what you or Shilo think of me--clear enough?

Is that clear enough for you?

shiloh said...

Roger, roger. :-P

Over out ...

virgil xenophon said...

WAAAYY late here, but rcocean was on fire way up thread with his descriptions of Romney & Obama...BOTH on tgt!

Roger J. said...

Bravo Zulu Shilo--at least you got my message.

phx said...

If I were you I wouldn't care what decent people thought of my public presentation either. There's no upside for you in that.

shiloh said...

Re: this thread, oh hell every thread at Althouse.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Oscar!

Roger J. said...

Shilo-why dont you try using naval terminology What the Fuck Over isnt in the formal naval phrase book (although frequently used off line)

Lonetown said...

man that whole trajectory from wimp went right into nsfw territory in a heartbeat.

Didn't the puritans move here to avoid that middle english?

yashu said...

Of course, Nixon's charm and likeability were legendary.

Heh, creeley23.

Obama may have an edge in "likability" according to some current polls (though I question what those poll results actually mean, e.g. in reaction to the race card). But there's a difference in the role and relevance of the "likability" factor for each candidate.

If Obama loses his supposed "likability," all is lost-- because that's pretty much all he has going for him. Whereas, even if Romney doesn't gain much "likability," he may still win-- as long as voters trust him more to handle the economy (their #1 concern).

That seems like an advantage for Romney, in what's sure to be a very negative campaign season-- in which the O campaign will mostly be engaged in personally attacking Romney (attacking him as a person/ character), and the R campaign will mostly be engaged in attacking Obama's record, policies, and ideology as POTUS, especially regarding the economy.

jebbbz said...

Concerning only the source of the word "wuss" I first heard it summer of 1979 on a camping trip. Some new friends used it to refer to someone who was "worse-than-useless" when it came to setting up camp, handling a canoe, that sort of thing. It meant helpless befuddlement and incompetence.

I doubt the OED will add this to their entry but I still have trouble using "wuss" any other way.

Kirk Parker said...

Palladian,

Not sure your misogynist take is correct. For the strongly traditional who would mock men for having female characteristics, aren't they just as unhappy with women exhibiting "male" characteristics? ISTM the defining issue isn't "men good, women bad", it's "men and women are different and let's keep it that way".

Unknown said...

Wuss is the contraction of whimp and pussy. Pussy in this context is shortened form of "pusillanimous", meaning lacking in courage or contemptible timidity.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pusillanimous

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