* A new CNN poll finds that the percentage who regard the GOP unfavorably has jumped five points since March, to 59 percent. And 58 percent say Obama is a strong leader.
CNN’s polling director claims the new leadership finding suggests the public may be “responding favorably to Obama’s stern reaction in recent days and hints that, far from catching blame for the latest controversies, Obama may actually be benefiting from them in some ways.” Also: 58 percent say Obama is “honest and trustworthy,” which also would seem to suggest the scandals are not having the effect the GOP hoped for.
* In a reference to CNN’s findings, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report Tweets:
Full results of latest CNN poll should make Republicans think about their behavior. GOP fav/unfav 35/59. Dem 52/43
Of course, now that big majorities of Republicans are persuaded we’re looking at Watergate-level presidential wrongdoing, the scandal-mongering will have to continue at its current pitch.
* However, Pew’s poll today finds a plurality believes the White House was “involved” in the IRS targeting of conservative groups, which is sharply at odds with CNN’s finding that a large majority thinks the opposite. The difference could be in the question wording; CNN’s wording leans more heavily on a negative-sounding description, one more in tune with what Republicans have argued.
* E.J. Dionne goes big: Does the current scandal-mania, combined with Washington’s utter refusal to address serious long term crises inflicting the electorate, reveal that our democracy is in real trouble?
* Steve Benen explains why today’s supposed revelations, that White House officials knew weeks ago about the pending IRS inspector general’s report, are not even particularly newsworthy at all, let alone important.
* The New York Times has a decent Q and A explaining what’s known and what isn’t about the IRS scandal.
* As Andrew Rosenthal points out, the endless GOP effort to find a scandal in the editing of talking points actually distracts from discussion of what we should be talking about, i.e., what went wrong from an intelligence standpoint.
* As Ed Kilgore points out, the endless GOP effort to find a presidential scandal in the IRS story actually distracts from discussion of what we should be talking about, i.e., what to do about the political status of 501(c)4s.
* Obama is facing a serious attack from his left flank over disappointment with inaction on climate change. With left wing group hammering Organizing for Action’s refusal to lobby against Keystone, it’s becoming clearer that approval of that project will create a major backlash among liberals.
* GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz says the calls for impeachment are likely to increase, adding: “I’m not saying impeachment is the endgame, just a possibility.”
* Which prompts the snark of the day from Kevin Drum:
See? All those calls from Republican elders to settle down and not get too crazy are working! According to Chaffetz, impeachment isn’t a sure thing, it’s only a possibility. That’s totally non-crazy. All that’s left now is to find some actual presidential wrongdoing. But I’m sure that’s just a technicality.