Why did no one think of it before? You’ve got a problem, a big meanie who enforces the law and holds the crooks up to scrutiny, so the first step before you begin your crime spree should be to exterminate the people who might catch you at it.
This is exactly what the Republicans have done: before they start (OK, accelerate) looting the country, they’ve killed the Office of Congressional Ethics. Never mind that it was an independent office that policed both Democrats and Republicans — when you’re poised for a historic treasure grab, you can’t have an ethics office notifying everyone of what you’re doing.
It still exists, but instead of acting as an independent entity, it is now subservient to the house ethics committee, which is stocked with partisan lawmakers who get to strangle any nosy investigations, and further, get to silence any mention of any probes. This action was also approved by a secret vote of the congressional Republican caucus — there was no discussion with those pesky Democrats, they didn’t even announce that they were considering it, they just did it and presented it as a fait accompli.
I’m impressed. A comic book villain couldn’t have done it better.
Josh Marshall recommends that you contact your representative to find out how they voted, if you live in a Republican district (I’m not; my rep is a blue dog Democrat, who I’ve never voted before until this last election when I simply voted straight DFL on every office). I don’t know what you can do about it, although I suppose it would be nice to know.