As you know, I have zero tolerance for Republicans who trash talk Sarah Palin.  Three years of Palin Derangement Syndrome have made me allergic; Palin stands apart from other Republican candidates in that regard.

There is only one candidate in the Republican field whose campaign staff has used trash talking Sarah Palin as a campaign strategy.

Michelle Bachmann and/or her senior staff have decided that the path to short-term success is to insult Palin and to present Bachmann as the only viable alternative to establishment Republicans.

First it was Ed Rollins publicly insulting Palin almost at the very moment Bachmann announced her run; at the time I left open the possibility that Rollins had gone rogue, but Bachmann herself never made it right and Rollins still is the brains behind her campaign.

Next was this report of what is going on in the run up to the Iowa straw poll:

 “I like Sarah Palin a lot,” Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said at Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate. “We are very good friends.” …

But a personal relationship between the conservative female leaders has, in fact, been nonexistent for the past 16 months, as aides from Bachmann’s camps have privately — and sometimes publicly — disparaged Palin to an extent that has caused growing exasperation in Palin world. That behind-the-scenes rancor is now boiling over as the former Alaska governor inches closer to a presidential run.

Some of the volunteers who have been organizing here in the nation’s first voting state for a potential Palin campaign have been particularly miffed by what they describe as a concerted effort from the Bachmann camp to spread rumors that Palin has already decided not to run and will eventually endorse the Minnesotan.

“It is so pervasive and so continuous that it can’t be rogue people doing it without the understanding and encouragement from the candidate herself,” a Palin supporter in Iowa told RCP. “The entire Bachmann team has gone around the state saying Palin is a lightweight and a quitter and saying that Sarah’s about to endorse Michele. Bachmann’s campaign is radioactively dirty. They are shameless.”

In the whispering campaign against Palin, Bachmann likely picked up some supporters who were hoping for better but figuring Bachmann was the best they could get.

Michele Bachmann is entitled to run her campaign any way she wants, and using typical Ed Rollins tactics is her perogative.

But millions of Palin supporters — some of whom support her for President, others of whom merely support her because of what she stands for and has gone through — are entitled to take Bachmann’s campaign tactics into account when choosing a “Plan B” should Palin decide not to run.  Michelle Bachmann has spit on those supporters at her political peril.

For me, Plan B means anyone but Bachmann.  And it is enough to finally get me motivated for the primaries.

Update:  Scott Johnson (via Instapundit) on the debate earlier this week:

Bachmann’s attacks on Pawlenty during the Republican presidential candidates’ debate this week were almost entirely false and demagogic.  Those of us who admire her can’t help but think less of her as a result.

And, some more thoughts by me:

Bachmann had one and only one path to the nomination – to unite the 25%-35% of the party who do not want an establishment Republican (not even a “conservative” establishment Republican).  The path existed only if Bachmann established herself as a viable candidate on her own and brought with her a coalition which included Palin supporters.  Uniting the base not dividing the base should have been Bachmann’s goal.

Instead Bachmann viewed Palin entering the race as a threat and therefore decided that attacking Palin through surrogates was the best tactic, but that was myopic.  If Palin enters the race, Bachmann is done regardless of anything Bachmann did or didn’t do; but if Palin does not enter the race Bachmann could have had the chance to lead the coalition.  That chance is gone because Bachmann destroyed the coalition, or at least her ability to lead it.

Bachmann will not be the nominee, regardless of whether Palin runs, and Bachmann has no one to blame but herself.

 
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