We did this to Joe Lieberman

Four years ago in Boston I staffed Joe Lieberman backstage at the Democratic National Convention. Unfortunately, last night some Republican did. I believed then and still believe today that Lieberman is a good man, and I respect him for doing what he felt was right regardless of the political consequences. He’s dead wrong about John McCain and Barack Obama, but I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of left-wing Democrats for Lieberman’s decision to speak at this year’s Republican convention.

The Colorado Independent has a great story today about Lieberman’s slow slide from Democratic VP pick to the Grand Old Convention, and it’s worth a read. But most importantly, when did Democrats abandon the idea of a “Big Tent?” When did we start having litmus tests for our candidates? I thought Republicans did that – which is why McCain picked such an extremist partisan for VP.

Not even Hillary Clinton could satisfy the far-left, whose primary concern is protecting the purity of their liberal ideology, not winning, and certainly not honoring a diversity of ideas. Sure this group loves diversity, but only the superficial kind. When an intelligent person makes a strong case against what they believe… whoa. They don’t just stick their heads in the sand, they try to take him out at the knees.

Lieberman didn’t leave the Democratic party, the wing-nuts who decided to primary him pushed him out. And so did all the Senators who marginalized him because he continued to believe we could leave Iraq as something better than a complete mess, which frankly is in our country’s long-term best interest.

As for the content of Lieberman’s speech last night, Obama Campaign Senior Strategist Robert Gibbs said today on a DNC press conference call, “Joe Lieberman did a tremendous disservice to the American people last night. In a long stem-winder about how people are cynical about politics, he turned around and lied about Barack Obama.” Lieberman said that Obama hasn’t worked across party lines when in fact he has done so numerous times, notably to the chagrin of his fellow Congressmen on ethics and lobbying reform. As Gibbs also said, if Lieberman had to lie to make his point he should have just given back the time.

I’m sure the Republicans could have used it for say, a stem-winder from James Dobson about how much Jesus hates gays (which he doesn’t). And hates liberals, too, except for the ones that drive good people out of the Democratic party. I’m pretty sure Dobson would call that God’s work.

Read Jeff’s latest commentaries.

Colorado Independent’s blogumnist (blogger-columnist) Jeff Bridges has worked in Democratic politics for the last 10 years, serving as communications director for two congressional races in Colorado and two governor’s races in the Deep South. Bridges also worked as a legislative assistant in Washington, D.C., with a focus on military and small business issues.

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Jeff Bridges

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