Apparently not every Democrat was excited about formerly Democratic but now independent Sen. Joe Lieberman's shining endorsement of Republican presidential candidate John McCain. Nor were Democrats too enthusiastic to hear recent rumors of Lieberman's being a potential McCain veep pick. So the progressive blogosphere has concocted the perfect punishment—stripping the senator of his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in 2009.
The bloggers have made a video (above), a petition, and a website, LiebermanMustGo.com, to influence the senators of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, who recommend committee chairmanships to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to oust Lieberman. And today, a small handful of bloggers including representatives from DailyKos and OpenLeft.com came to Capitol Hill to personally deliver copies of the petition with 43,000 signatures to Chairwoman Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and other Democratic senators.
While 43,000 signatures isn't a huge amount by any means, Eddie Kurtz of Brave New Films admits to Whispers that the number is big for how wonky the request is. "Forty-three thousand people signed a petition to the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee? That's kind of amazing," Kurtz says, explaining that the petition was mainly circulated via the "netroots," online grass-roots activists. Kurtz's organization created the Lieberman video and has produced other progressive videos, including one that encouraged McCain to denounce the endorsement of the Rev. Rod Parsley for making anti-Islamic remarks. McCain did.
And after they dropped off the paper copy of the petition to a surprised Stabenow aide, the big question was—what next? Their efforts wouldn't have any impact until 2009. But the bloggers said they would keep at it. "The next time Lieberman decides to throw Sen. [Barack] Obama under the bus, as he's done multiple times, we'll contact [the senators] and stay in touch," Kurtz says.