Amid a trio of controversies that has put the White House on defense, Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to the President Obama, appeared on all five Sunday news shows, defending the administration against attacks from Republicans.
Pfeiffer said the GOP is trying to make "political hay" over the revelation that the Internal Revenue Service singled out conservative groups. Meanwhile, the Senate's top Republican charged "there is a culture of intimidation" in the administration.
Read about it all and more over on Post Politics:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) wants to know "who's going to jail" over the IRS scandal.
But ousted acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller says no laws were violated when the agency targeted conservative groups.
So who's right? Did the IRS's conduct take a step beyond mere "wrongdoing" and venture into criminal territory?
It doesn't take a political genius to grasp that President Obama has just weathered one of the worst weeks of his time in office.
But, sometimes a picture tells the story better than all the words we've written on it this week. Below is a chart produced by TargetPoint, a Republican consulting firm, using their National Dialogue Monitor to track national conversation on May 15 and 16. ("The National Dialogue Monitor tracks every time a politician, celebrity, organization, issue or corporation is mentioned across all media channels -- television, radio, newspapers, magazines, blogs, websites, and social networks," according to an explanation on the firm's website.)
For the sixth time in his presidency, Barack Obama "won" our "Worst Week in Washington" award this week.
"For a president who wanted to spend the week, and the weeks to come, talking immigration and budget, the events of the past seven days virtually ensure he won't be doing that anytime soon," we wrote in describing Obama's scandal-plagued week.
Did the Internal Revenue Service "target" conservative groups for extra scrutiny? Or was it more a case of "horrible customer service"?
Depends on who you ask.
Friday's House Ways and Means Committee hearing into the scandal that erupted into public view one week ago was something of a semantics battle, with outgoing IRS head Steven T. Miller objecting to the term "targeting," a move Republican lawmakers weren't buying.
One of the lessons the general public (or at least some of them) have learned from the Internal Revenue Service scandal is that the world of campaign finance -- who can raise and spend what, where they can get the money and who they need to tell about it -- is incredibly complex.
How certain groups qualify for tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(4) organization -- a distinction that allows them to keep both their donors and donations secret -- is the focus of the week (thanks to the buffoonery, at best, of some IRS officials) but it opens up (or should open up) a conversation about the vagaries of campaign finance law.
Below is a terrific chart from our friends at the Sunlight Foundation that details the incredible complicated world of money in politics. Just try to follow all the ways that money can make it into the system. We dare you. (Click the chart for a bigger version.)
I was 12 years old during Sam Ervin's Watergate hearings, and watched them over the course of a long, hot summer, a time when I seemed to register the startling fact that my parents weren't infallible and grownups did not necessarily know more about the world than I did. Watergate was empowering in a sense: It told you that the authority figures were flawed, perhaps deeply so, that you should not blindly trust the powerful. Bad men do bad things, and lie about them, and it is our challenge to scrape away that deceit and find the truth beneath.
To watch the news coverage this week, you'd think the Obama administration was on its last legs.
The good news for the Obama administration is that relatively few people are watching the news coverage.
According to a new Gallup poll, interest in the IRS scandal and the controversy over Benghazi remains below average when it comes to major news stories. While 60 percent of Americans are generally following a story at least "somewhat closely," just 53 percent are following the Benghazi news and 54 percent are following the IRS scandal.