There are those who say I am paranoid to believe that House Republicans would impeach Obama if they too control of the House. But Jonathan Bernstein lays out a compelling case that Republicans will indeed impeach if given the opportunity:
I’ve been asking for guesses about when the first impeachment resolution will be filed in the House (leave your prediction here). To be fair, I’ve already been wrong about one thing — I predicted that Michele Bachmann would have introduced a resolution by now (actually, I predicted April 15). So perhaps I’m just as much of an alarmist as those Republicans who believed that a Pelosi-led House would impeach George W. Bush in 2007. Perhaps! But I don’t think so. In fact, impeachment talk moved yesterday from Tea Party rallies to at least one Republican Member of the House, Darrell Issa. And Issa’s not an obscure backbencher; he’s the ranking Republican on Oversight and Government Reform, and he also sits on the Judiciary Committee.
The incentives all run to impeachment, as far as I can tell. The leaders of such an effort would find it easy to cash in (literally, I mean) with books and appearances on the conservative lecture circuit. It’s hard to believe that Rush, Beck and the rest of the gang wouldn’t be tripping over each other to wear the crown of the Host Who Brought Down the socialist gangster president. And we’ve seen the ability, or I should say the lack thereof, of rank-and-file GOP pols to stand up to the talk show yakkers. Besides, it’s not as if a new Republican majority would have a full agenda of legislative items to pass, and what they did have would face an Obama veto (and most likely death in the Senate at any rate). Against all that is the collective preference of the Republican Party not to have a reputation as a pack of loons, but that doesn’t seem to be much of a constraint in practice. Of course, also against impeachment is the lack of a serious offense by the president, but I don’t see that as a major impediment — if offering a job to a potential Senate candidate is an impeachable offense (and see Jonathan Chait if you think it really is), then they’ll have no trouble at all coming up with something.
FWIW, it doesn’t seem that likely that Republicans will take over the House. But if they do, the question won’t be whether or not they begin impeachment hearings, it will be whether or not the Firebag crowd supports impeachment too.