It might have sounded like a good idea.
The Office of Congressional Ethics - created amid the tumult and controversy of the aughts in Congress - had run amok! Members of Congress - Republicans and Democrats! - were being accused of ethical wrongdoing with scant evidence! Something had to be done!
So, last Sunday night, House Republicans voted to gut the OCE, and, in so doing, ensured that their first step as the party with full control over political Washington would be directly into quicksand.
The move, which was led by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Va., and championed by fellow Republicans Sam Graves, Mo., Peter Roskam, Ill., and Blake Farenthold, Texas - all three of whom had, to their minds, been victimized by the OCE - sparked an immediate backlash. Democrats slammed Republicans for holding a closed-door, Sunday night vote that eliminated an office aimed at keeping lawmakers in line. Advocates for transparency and good government piled on.