"Washington just loves scandals; they’re ever so much more exciting than the daily grind of legislation—if there is any—and the tit-for-tat between the president and the congressional Republicans over the budget was becoming tedious. Faux outrage is a specialty here." So writes political commentator Elizabeth Drew - at http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2013/may/18/why-obama-is-not-nixon/.
The key words in her analysis are, I think, "legislation - if there is any." In our contemporary political comedy theater, legislation has largely become impossible - except on those rare occasions when a particularly powerful lobby of the rich and privileged can count on a comparably sympathetic hearing from virtually all sides (e.g., the recent fracas over the sequestration's effect on air travel). In the absence of legislation - indeed, of any serious desire to legislate - scandal(what Drew righty labels "faux outrage") takes over. This is, of course,made to order for our dysfunctional media, which is notoriously incapable of (and perhaps not very interested in) helping citizens to thread their way through important public policy issues, but is very good at harping on the sorts of trivia that excite members of the inside-the-Beltway club.
So gun regulation fails, immigration reform stalls, inequality is on the increase, etc., while we wallow in trivia stoked by grandstanding politicians and media elites. And on and on it goes!