Bob Schieffer on "dumb and dumber" in Washington

IRS sign with magnifying glass
IRS sign with magnifying glass Internal revenue Service tax taxes

(CBS News) When the burglars broke into Democratic Headquarters at the Watergate, a lot of us back then found it hard to believe.

Why would anyone break into a political headquarters? What did they hope to find? Bumper stickers? Yard signs? Nobody is dumb enough to pull a stunt like that.

But they were!

I admit I had about the same reaction when I first heard the IRS had gone after the tea party last year. The tea party? Surely no one could be dumb enough to think you could get away with that in an election year.

But they were! So, welcome to dumb and dumber.

It did take awhile for the news to get to some quarters. We've heard that the President said he didn't find out about it until last week. Last week!

Which qualified him for Washington's fastest-growing club: the longer and longer list of officials who suddenly don't know much about a lot of unpleasant things, from Benghazi to the Associated Press investigation.

At this point, spare me the talking points and the excuses. No matter whether Republicans or Democrats are doing this kind of thing, this stuff is not just wrong, it's really stupid, and it will take more than firing a few temps and low-level bureaucrats to fix it.

The president won re-election with a smart political team, but the election is over. Maybe he should look now for people of substance who know about other things who could help him govern.

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.