Publius, riffing on Benen, theorizes that GOP support for Palin is rising because they see their persecution in America through her:
"In a sense, she's Jesus -- she's standing in for them, and being crucified for being true to their cause. And so the media criticism (even though totally justified) will help her with this activist base, even if it destroys any chance she might have had to win a national election."
I've been fascinated with this persecution performance (or if you wish, outrage performance) phenomena since I wrote about the R. Kelly trial last semester. It's my feeling that this type of performance is growing in our culture, from Palin's resignation to Peter King's seemingly manufactured outrage at the coverage of MJ's death (Did MJ babysit his kid? Does he even have children?). What is it about our media that finds the performance of outrage or persecution more engaging than reality? Or is it that we can't tell the differance anymore? I don't really have an answer right now, but I think it's a question worth thinking about.