Foxfyre, I'm wondering if you clicked on the links I provided? I decided not to post some of the more egregious ones as images (my kid was wandering around) but there's some pretty bad stuff in there.
My argument is not even "Hillary has had it much worse for Palin for much longer" (though I could make that argument rather easily), but "you're saying Palin's treatment is worse than Hillary's??? Not hardly."
I agree with Robert that the kookier outposts (t-shirts etc.) don't necessarily have a real impact on the election, but I agree with nimh that they're gross and worth censure.
There are many things to object to with McCain's Chelsea joke but for me the central one was that she was a KID at the time. We think of her now as adult, poised, campaigning for her mom -- it's less upsetting to think of that joke being directed at now-Chelsea than then-Chelsea. But at the time she was like, 12. Just mean.
I wonder if that's part of why it was suppressed here -- protecting Chelsea, not just McCain.
But yes, the press has been McCain's "base" for a very long time, and I couldn't be happier to see that changing.
Soz, the issue here is sexism. If McCain actually told the joke in a public forum--something that nobody has convinced me happened--it was crude and offensive and potentionally hurtful and he should be ashamed of himself. I have said so several times now. I am NOT convinced that it was anything worse than a crude joke intended for private consumption only. Until somebody steps forward and says they heard McCain tell it and it was in (whatever) context, I have no reason to have any other opinion about it. All the sources so far have been hearsay reported by people who were obviously attempting to paint John McCain in a bad light. And RG is right. The joke might be funny to some. Offensive to others. But it was not sexist.
Hillary Clinton has indeed had a lot of scrutiny over many years now and has had some bad press from a lot of people who were obviously attempting to paint her in a bad light. Most of that has been the same kinds of scrutiny that would be applied to a man, however. When it was sexist--commenting on her appearance or demeanor in a way that would never be appled to a man, for instance--I bristled right along with the rest of you. I am in no way bristling at scrutiny of Sarah Palin's track record, views, pertinent history that should be directed at any candidate for high office. I am bristling when a different standard is being applied to her because she is a woman. And in that regard, the criticism is far more harsh for her than what Hillary has had to endure.
The din of commentary re Sarah Palin's children, her 'special' child, her responsibilities as a mother, her sense of propriety and dubious 'family values', yadda yadda have been a huge component in the scrutiny however, and that kind of thing was rarely if ever applied to Hillary. These are the kinds of things that are never applied to men, either--Joe Biden was a single father of two very young sons when he first went to Washington for instance. Was he criticized for putting his career before his kids???? No. He has been praised for hurrying home to them after work every day and being a good dad. Has anyone seriously questioned Barack Obama's ability to be there as a dad for his young children and also be President of the United States?
But Sarah Palin, a woman, is apparently not to be allowed that luxury. For years the feminists have been poo poohing the idea that a woman must stay home with her children in order to be a good mother. Now, all of a sudden, that kind of old school idea is being leveled at Palin--not from the rigid, moralistic, sanctimonious Right mind you, but from the Left. Her children should come first. It is irresponsible of her to be Vice President--she can't do that and also fulfill her responsibility to her kids.
Couple that with numerous observations about her hairstyle, eyeglasses, etc. etc. and such elegant adjectives as 'beauty queen' and 'slut' and 'bitch' and 'hooker' being thrown around on the blogs and as late night 'humor', and there is no way anybody can intellectually call it anything other than blatant and hateful sexism.