THERE’S THAT ‘I’ WORD AGAIN…. The far-right Washington Times published two op-eds, on the same page, on the same day, demanding the impeachment of President Obama. One was from the perpetually deranged Jeffrey Kuhner, who insisted, “Obama has betrayed the American people. Impeachment is the only answer. This usurper must fall.”

The other was from Tom Tancredo, the former Republican congressman and presidential candidate, and apparent Colorado gubernatorial candidate.

Yes, Mr. Obama is a more serious threat to America than al Qaeda. We know that Osama bin Laden and followers want to kill us, but at least they are an outside force against whom we can offer our best defense. But when a dedicated enemy of the Constitution is working from the inside, we face a far more dangerous threat. Mr. Obama can accomplish with the stroke of his pen what bin Laden cannot accomplish with bombs and insurgents. […]

Mr. Obama’s refusal to live up to his own oath of office — which includes the duty to defend the United States against foreign invasion – requires senators and representatives to live up to their oaths. Members of Congress must defend our nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Today, that means bringing impeachment charges against Mr. Obama.

Keep in mind, Fox News found this insanity worth promoting.

All of this, of course, brings me back to a point that I continue to ponder — how seriously are Republicans prepared to take this whole impeachment idea?

Obviously, President Obama hasn’t committed any crimes, and there are no sane reasons for anyone to try to impeach him. But House Republicans have been known to take some stupendously crazy steps, so it’s hardly unreasonable to ask now — before the election.

Remember, throughout 2006, when Republicans realized that Democrats had a very good shot at reclaiming the congressional majority, one of the single most common GOP attacks before the elections was that Dems would try to impeach Bush and/or Cheney if they were in the majority.

The talk was so common that Democratic leaders, much to the chagrin for the party’s base, declared unequivocally before the election that presidential impeachment was “off the table.”

So, are Republicans prepared to also take impeachment off the table in advance of these midterm elections? Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) has raised the specter of impeachment. So has Michele Bachmann, who recently said, “Everywhere I go, people ask me, ‘Michele, can we impeach the president?’” Not surprisingly, Fox News is on board, too. Now, the Washington Times is running multiple op-eds on the subject.

Is it on the table for 2011 or not? Voters should know what to expect from the next Congress. At this point, there’s no reason for the GOP to avoid the question — they’re the ones who brought it up, and apparently keep bringing it up. So, what’s it going to be?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.