I have to admit, I have never understood why Sarah Palin causes such antipathy among liberals, and especially liberal women. And, like the Washington City Paper's Amanda Hess, I think she's leading too many liberal women astray.
I have written ad nauseum and seemingly ad infinitum since Palin's VP nomination that it's still ugly sexism when directed at conservative women. David Letterman's "jokes" about Palin's daughters — which, as Rachel Sklar pointed out today, Barack Obama suggested people stop doing last September — struck me last week as pathetic and gross. Just because he said it was supposedly about Bristol — you know, 'cause she's obviously "slutty" or something — doesn't make it ok. Just because you don't like Sarah Palin or think she's using it to score political points with her base doesn't excuse the jokes in retrospect. On this point, Anna and I vociferously disagree — I think it's pretty easy to defend Sarah Palin because I don't want those jokes told about the Obama girls; because I've commented repeatedly on how shitty it was when Rush Limbaugh and John McCain made them about Chelsea Clinton; and because I come from a family and a background where you just don't stand for people insulting your family or your friends. Maybe she's playing it up — she is, after all, a politician and every politician is going to try for a homer on an easy pitch like Letterman handed her — and maybe she's pissed (the fact that Todd Palin said anything after months of basically being told to keep his trap shut is, to me, telling) that Letterman went there, sexually with her daughters. Either way, I still think it's gross and indefensible.