Will Republicans overplay the Obama scandals?

The Obama administration is having its worst political week yet, giving the GOP plenty of ammo

President Obama
(Image credit: Fang Zhe/Xinhua Press/Corbis)

This week has been quite fruitful for President Obama's Republican critics. None of the current brouhahas — the House hearings on last September's fatal attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya; the targeting of conservative tax-exempt applicants by the IRS; or the Justice Department's broad subpoena of Associated Press phone records — have reached the White House yet, but that only gives Republicans more reason to keep digging.

With all that's been happening recently, it's starting to feel a lot like the 1990s — and not in a good way, says Jill Lawrence at National Journal. Obama is facing the specter of Bill Clinton–era levels of investigations, polarization, and bitterness — "with overlays of gridlock, dysfunction, soaring deficits, mass unemployment, and ideological cable networks" thrown in for good measure, Lawrence says. Talk of impeachment is even back in the air. But the '90s weren't great for Republicans. So the big question regarding Obama's second term is: "Are he and his party doomed, or are Republicans overplaying their hand?" Lawrence explains:

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