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Did you see this in the New York Times, this morning?

ANCHORAGE — [1] Gov. Sarah Palin [2] of Alaska fired back Friday at the unnamed McCain campaign aides who have been maligning her in recent days, saying that their criticism was “cruel and it’s mean-spirited, it’s immature, it’s unprofessional, and those guys are jerks.”

Well, ya know what? She’s right.

Sarah Palin [3]

Sarah Palin

Look, gang, whatever other arguments might come to the fore about Sarah Palin, there can be no denial that she ended up drawing far more of a crowd than McCain himself did, being in the end more popular than he is.  Mostly that’s apparently because the only people that John McCain and his staff didn’t mind annoying the hell out of, was conservatives. Ironically Sarah Palin is one of those conservatives.

There is also a certain amount of irony here,  involving the use of tacitics, that McCain himself wouldn’t have approved of and made a living out of decrying. I’m not suggesting that McCain’s playing both sides of the ball here…  and the article itself notes that, too…  what I’m saying is that this would seem to be proof of what I’ve been saying all along; one of the reasons that John McCain lost this election was precisely because he refused to play hardball politics and that seems to me to be appointed his own people disagree with him on. They other, of course being a lack of conservatism on his part, the combo of which caused conservatives to stay home.

There’s something else that gets mentioned here, that I find annoying.

The McCain campaign aides complained about the $150,000 that the Republican National Committee [4] had spent on Ms. Palin’s clothes, the way a Canadian comedian was able to embarrass the campaign by calling her and pretending to be the president of France, and the political ambitions she seemed to harbor beyond 2008.

Well, as regards that phone call, it seems to me he that it was one of her handlers from the McCain campaign who announced who it was, and then handed her the phone. The possibility that that whole thing was a setup from inside the McCain camp strikes me as increasingly plausible with every new revelation of the kind of vitriol coming out of McCain staffers toward Palin.

Palin’s responses to this show me she knows full well how that game gets played, even if McCain himself lacks that understanding.

Mind you, I am not suggesting that this nonsense is being generated by the whole of McCain’s staff.  It appears to me, in looking at this retrospectively in combination with stories that are starting to leak out about this entire affair, that we are only talking about a few bad apples in the barrel.  It perception would seem to be confirmed by the number of staff shakeups occurred during the McCain campaign over the last two years.  Clearly, McCain knew he had a problem, and tried to deal with it.  I don’t know, I wasn’t there, but as a yes I would have to say that McCain reacted by benching the wrong players.

A logical question; Why would the govenor be a target?

There’s two reasons for that.

First, the staffers are looking for someone other than themselves to place blame on. Wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a a blame game played following a losing election effort.

Second and I think most important of all, is the future of the party.  Sarah Palin represents a serious threat from the right wing of the party.. a part at least some of McCain’s people figured were history. The conservatives, you see, must be discredited for centrist/leftists like McCain and his followers to gain and retain power. (Ignore of course, that McCain lost the election as an indication of holders of that perception being badly mistaken.)

One can only hope that these people are swept away by the rightward shift that is about to hit the party.