Palin vs. Letterman and (Un)civil discourse

There has been a great deal of talk about the dust-up between Sarah Palin and David Letterman. I was going to ignore it myself, but sometimes you get to a point where you can't bite your tongue any longer. I reached that point while reading Caffeinated Politics.

This is the part that set me off:
Is Sarah Palin’s 14-Year-Old Daughter Also Having Sex? The comments by Sarah Palin seem to suggest she is... It’s interesting that Palin’s statement assumes Letterman was referring to the governor’s 14-year-old and not her older unmarried daughter who recently gave birth to a son. *emphasis original

Here's the thing, Palin's 14 year old daughter went to the baseball game, not 18 year old Bristol. Unless Letterman was suggesting that A-Rod flew up to Alaska between innings to "knock up" Bristol, the joke was - intentionally or otherwise - directed at Willow. Letterman hasn't actually said which daughter he meant, not that it would make the joke any less idiotic.

If I follow the logic of dekerivers, by getting upset that the daughter referred to in the joke - the daughter actually at the baseball game - was only 14 years old, Sarah Palin was tacitly confirming that her daughter is a slut.

Could someone please explain this to me? I'm obviously missing something.

But here's the thing that really irks me: politics, at least political discourse on the internet, is destroying society. I'm dead serious.

Read any of the "top" blogs on the left and right. Not blogs associated with magazines or publications, but personal "new media" blogs and you'll see what I mean. The problem is that everything is name calling and inuendo. There is no serious discussion of policy and to the extent that there is it is drowned out by the stupidity and vulgarness of posts like this.

Lest you think that I am implying this is a left-wing only problem, Blog Enemy #1 is just as guilty of this kind of crap as anyone.

Let me say this as clearly as I know how: Politicians' children are off limits. Period. Unless they themselves enter the arena - as Chelsea Clinton and Meghan McCain have done - they are out of bounds.

Unfortunately the anonymity offered by the Internet often brings the worst out of people. Even when real identities are used, people feel safe in the knowledge that few reading their comments know them or will approach them in person. Cowards hide behind this type of shield. Only those who have nothing of any substance to say resort to this type of commentary.

There are serious issues facing our country and we need serious debate about it. This crap has to end and it should not be tolerated by any side in any debate.