The Corner

Dissent Was Patriotic

Both Politico and the Washington Times’s Monica Crowley have pieces about the White House’s efforts to marginalize administration critics like the Chamber of Commerce and Fox News. Neither piece focuses on the administration’s use of this technique with respect to health-care critics — although the Crowley piece does touch on the issue — but the administration has been quite active in this area as well. Recall that this past summer the White House established an e-mail address and website where Obama supporters could report “fishy” claims in the health-care debate. More recently, the health insurers came under fire for releasing their report skeptical of the Baucus bill, prompting criticism from the president this weekend, and open speculation from Senate Democratic leaders about threatening the insurers’ anti-trust exemption.

Don’t expect this effort to diminish any time soon. The Politico piece notes that White House officials cite a recent ABC/Washington Post poll showing Republican party identification at only 20% as evidence that their strategy is working.

Tevi Troy is a presidential historian and former White House aide. His latest book is Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump.