Sometime next year, after an interval of performative investigations, Republicans in the House are going to impeach Joe Biden. This may not be their present plan, but they will work themselves up to it by degrees. The pressure from the MAGA base will build. A triggering event will burst all restraints. Eventually, Republicans will leave themselves little choice.
This prediction rests, of course, on the assumption that Republicans will win control of the House next month, which appears likely: Democrats would need to win an improbable number of toss-up races to keep their majority. And an impeachment resolution requires just a simple majority to pass the House.
Nothing in the public record offers the slightest reason to believe that the Senate, even if it is under Republican control, would convict and remove Biden from office. Still, House Republicans will come to see plenty of advantages in impeaching Biden—and, possibly, several other top administration officials.
Already, there is enormous demand for impeachment. A University of Massachusetts Amherst poll in May found that 68 percent of Republican voters think the House should impeach Biden. A majority expect that it will impeach him. Thwarting those expectations would be dangerous for any House Republican.
The poll numbers for impeachment correspond closely to the belief among Republicans that Biden is an illegitimate president. This is no coincidence: Impeachment is the corollary of election denial—the invincible certainty that Biden cheated in 2020 and Donald Trump won. If you truly believe that and haven’t joined a militia, impeachment is the least of the remedies you will accept. [Continue reading…]