I predicted last week that Michelle Bachmann would bludgeon Rick Perry with his Gardasil (STD vaccine)  mandate and then flip-flopping on the issue right out of the gate. I was off by a hair; the first volley comes, not from Bachmann, but from Sarah Palin’s camp.

At Conservatives4Palin.com today, after citing Palin’s express rejection of mandating vaccine shots, the Palin camp trounces on Perry:

I never questioned for a moment whether or not Governor Palin would have done something akin to what Perry did in Texas with Gardasil. That’s the luxury of being a Palin supporter. We know her philosophy and we know she’s remained steady in her belief of limited government. We also know that she never governed for the benefit of any cronies.

The more I read about Rick Perry, the more I see in him what Governor Palin fought so hard against in Alaska. The Gardasil issue is just one instance in many that it appears Rick Perry put the interests of his financial backers above those of his constituents.

They conclude with this:

How the conservative establishment plans on selling this guy as a bridge between the Tea Party and the GOP establishment, through the duration of the primary campaign is beyond me. Rick Perry’s views on the role of government and corporate welfare fly in the face of Tea Party values. Padding one’s political piggy bank with the money of people and entities who expect a much larger return on their “investment” is an abuse of the system. The idea that taxpayers go into debt paying out large sums to these “investors” to keep elected officials in their seats of power, is not the sort of behavior you will find any Tea Party activist supporting.

Governor Palin’s history of service stands in direct contrast to most politicians, including Rick Perry’s. She went against the grain of the deep-rooted corruption in Alaska, and even in her own party. She was independent enough to call out those who were abusing the system, and taking a strong stand against them. The only “interests” that Governor Palin focused on, were those of her constituents. That includes respecting their personal liberty by not “mandating anything like shots” for their children.

For the conservative, evangelical GOP activists, the toxicity of Perry’s Gardasil issue will become ever more prominent. And Romney will maintain his low-key, “playing not to lose” strategy through the hullabaloo over the Christian Right of the GOP activists hoping to be the only one standing at the end of the day.