LIEBERMAN LOOKING LIKE A ‘SURE BET’…. The Senate Democratic caucus will meet in about an hour and a half, and at the top of the agenda is Joe Lieberman’s fate. For those hoping to see Lieberman face consequences for his betrayals, it’s probably best to start lowering expectations.

Sen. Joe Lieberman appears likely to hold onto his prized chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security Committee despite lingering hard feelings over his vocal support for GOP nominee John McCain during this year’s presidential campaign. […]

According to Democratic aides who demanded anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, it appears Lieberman will receive a lesser sanction, such as losing a subcommittee chairmanship on the Environment and Public Works Committee. That move would come as other top Democratic chairmen may lose subcommittee gavels anyway, to bring them in line with long-standing Democratic caucus rules limiting the number of such lesser chairmanships.

But while he appears likely to emerge without harsh sanction, Lieberman’s presentation in the closed-door session with Democrats and their reaction could affect the outcome.

Or maybe, it couldn’t. At this point, the fix appears to be in. The Politico reported last night that a top aide to a Senate Democrat close to the issue said that it was “becoming a sure bet” that Lieberman would keep his committee chairmanship. The report added that Lieberman would likely lose his seniority on either an Environment and Public Works subcommittee or Armed Services subcommittee. CNN, The Hill, and TPM had similar reports.

Roll Call added that a subcommittee punishment for Lieberman “may be seen as a stinging rebuke.” A Senate Democratic aide said, “I don’t know if it’s enough for the net roots, but it’s enough to say we stood up as Democrats” against Lieberman’s actions.

Can we please cut the nonsense?

Lieberman demanded that he keep his Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs chairmanship, and the party is poised to give him precisely what he requested. Losing the leadership of an inconsequential subcommittee is not a “stinging rebuke,” and giving into Lieberman’s leverage-less demands is not “standing up as Democrats.”

As Markos concluded, “The only thing that matters, the only thing that Lieberman wants, and the only thing we don’t want him to have — is the chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee. If this is the ‘starting point’, and given the Senate Democrats’ history of capitulations, expect Lieberman to come out of that meeting as majority leader.”

Steve Benen

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.