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.
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.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.
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 usages of "wimp" go back to 1920:
1920 G. Ade Hand-made Fables 97 Next day he sought out the dejected 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:
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.
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....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.
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’.
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."