CAMPAIGN AGAINST NAPOLITANO LOSES STEAM…. In the wake of the unsuccessful terrorist plot on Christmas, some congressional Republicans and media figures targeted Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, some going so far as to call for her ouster. The criticism ran into trouble when detractors couldn’t actually identify anything that she’d done wrong.

One far-right lawmaker called for Napolitano’s resignation, because of a three-word quote she gave, which was taken out of context. Another blasted the DHS secretary because of her facial expressions during a media interview.

Overall, however, the campaign against Napolitano seems to be losing steam.

Key Republican and independent senators and former members of the Bush administration spoke up Sunday in support of Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, despite stinging criticism last week of her comments that a Nigerian’s foiled effort to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day showed that “the system worked really smoothly.”

Michael Chertoff, her predecessor as homeland security secretary, when asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” television program whether he had confidence in Ms. Napolitano, said forcefully, “I do.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) didn’t like the “system worked” line, but said she has confidence in Napolitano’s abilities. Soon after, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) echoed the sentiment.

We’ll almost certainly hear some more ranting and raving from the usual suspects, but I’d be surprised if the resignation talk continued in any meaningful way.

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.