Say goodbye to hopes for sensible gun-control, Republican compromise in budget negotiations, or any broader hope for a return to moderation in the GOP. Any designs the Obama Administration had of getting anything done in a second term may just have gone out the window with the admission that the IRS was targeting conservative groups that were seeking tax-exempt status.
Unlike the other so-called "scandals" the Republicans have tried to exploit since Obama became President, this one sounds very, very real. It smells positively Nixonian. And arguments that it was not politically motivated just don't wash. It's hard to imagine an outcome that does not permanently tarnish, and reduce the ability to govern, of the Obama White House.
The IRS scandal is bound to dominate national politics at least through the midterm elections in Nov. 2014. Whoever authorized this boneheaded move has cost the White House dearly. For the rest of us, it's a reminder (not that we needed one) that the Republican Party does not have a monopoly on venality.