IN A STEELE BOX…. It’s fair to say January has not been kind to RNC Chairman Michael Steele, with talk of a forced resignation lingering overhead. Steele was able to stop talking about his troubles over the weekend when he went on the offensive against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), but the underlying problems that have bedeviled the embarrassing RNC head haven’t gone away.

To deal with their concerns, RNC members are prepared to cut Steele’s mic.

Senior Republican National Committee members are preparing a motion demanding that RNC Chairman Michael S. Steele cancel promotional events for the book he wrote as chairman, The Washington Times has learned.

The proposed motion, to be presented to the 168-member RNC at its annual winter meeting in Honolulu at the end of this month, also would direct him to donate to the RNC and Republican candidates all proceeds from the book.

One imagines, Steele will not be pleased with this. Indeed, if his goal is to exploit his position to line his own pockets — speaking fees, book-sale revenue — Steele stands to lose more than just his reputation if the RNC demands he give up his proceeds. Then again, if he wants to keep his job, Steele may not have much of a choice.

U.S. News added that top Republican leaders on Capitol Hill have decided to start “just ignoring Steele” altogether. Indeed, yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was asked if he still has confidence in the RNC chairman. McConnell largely dodged the question.

Don’t expect Steele’s popularity in GOP circles to improve anytime soon.

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.