Jonathan Chait is making sense (New York Magazine):
Scandal is a powerful, yet weirdly amorphous term of art in politics. Conceptually, the division between a scandal and a mere controversy or flub or policy dispute is hard to define. It required a peculiar sequencing of events to transform what would on their own have been normal political controversies into the nebulous, all-encompassing Obama Scandals.
As is Noam Scheiber (New Republic):
It turns out that the applications the conservative groups submitted to the IRS—the ones the agency subsequently combed over, provoking nonstop howling—were unnecessary. The IRS doesn’t require so-called 501c4 organizations to apply for tax-exempt status. If anyone wants to start a social welfare group, they can just do it, then submit the corresponding tax return (form 990) at the end of the year. To be sure, the IRS certainly allows groups to apply for tax-exempt status if they want to make their status official. But the application is completely voluntary, making it a strange basis for an alleged witch hunt.
And Karen Tumulty (Washington Post):
If the spiraling events have set the White House off balance, it may be because Obama’s first term was largely free of scandal, which means his team has little experience in getting ahead of that kind of bad news. Bill Clinton, by contrast, was beset by contretemps almost from the moment he took office. And as a result, his White House developed a separate internal operation for handling scandals — or anything that threatened to turn into one.