Pressing for Stevens’ expulsion

PRESSING FOR STEVENS’ EXPULSION…. Oddly enough, there’s at least one Republican senator who’s publicly uncomfortable serving alongside a convicted felon.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint is pushing his party’s leadership to expel Sen. Ted Stevens from the Senate during this month’s “lame duck” session, according to people familiar with his plans.

DeMint, one of the most conservative members of the Senate, is said to be angry with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for tolerating a convicted felon in the GOP caucus. […]

Expulsion from the Senate requires a two-thirds majority – 67 votes – to pass. If McConnell doesn’t press for Stevens’ expulsion during the November special session, DeMint plans to introduce a motion to expel in January, GOP staffers say.

“It takes only one senator to offer an expulsion motion,” said a Republican aide familiar with DeMint’s plans. “We deserve ridicule if we don’t follow through on our promises… This is a test of McConnell’s leadership.”

For his part, McConnell called on Stevens to resign last week, and said there was “zero chance” Stevens would avoid an expulsion vote. McConnell added, however, that he was prepared to wait and see what happens with Stevens’ appeals. “If he is re-elected and the felony charge stands through the appeals process, there is zero chance that a senator with a felony conviction would not be expelled from the Senate,” a McConnell spokesperson said.

That’s pretty weak tea. McConnell’s bold pronouncement is, in effect, that he won’t let Stevens serve in the Senate from behind bars. Setting the bar a little low, aren’t we?

Of course, if Stevens is deemed the loser in his re-election fight, the point is moot. At this point, Stevens only leads Begich by about 3,300 votes out of more than 209,000 cast, but there are more than 55,000 absentee, questioned, and uncounted early votes still be counted.