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Special Report

White House's Hardball Politics

By itself, the White House's campaign to blunt the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's opposition to health care reform by persuading member companies to break with the organization is hardball politics, but as the saying goes: Politics ain't beanbag.

But is that all there is to it? Remember what happened when Humana, the health insurance company, warned policy holders that health care reform could threaten their coverage under Medicare Advantage. In fact, under the Senate bill, it could. But the administration promptly ordered the company to stop sending such messages, an order that has since quietly been lifted.

Then came the insurance industry study that said the Senate Finance Committee bill could lead to much higher premiums. The committee had weakened the requirement that everyone obtain health insurance. That left open the likelihood that healthy people would not buy insurance, and pay the modest fine, knowing that if they got sick they could buy it later and could not be refused it under the new bill.

The president himself had made the same point, but he immediately denounced the industry for doing a hatchet job and has been attacking the industry ever since.

Then, of course, there's the current White House war on Fox News, the kind of anti-media campaign not seen since the days of Richard Nixon.

Anybody see a pattern here?

Brit Hume is the senior political analyst for Fox News Channel.