Thursday, November 13, 2008

Creating a new leader for the TN Democratic Party: start from scratch Obama-style

In a video game my godson likes to play, you can create your own super powerful football player to lead your team to victory.

Tennessee Democrats need to take the same approach in finding a replacement for the inept yet nicely coiffed State Party Chairman Gray Sasser, who announced he is stepping down from the bridge of the Titanic to concentrate more on his law firm.

While I don't like many of the policy positions of Tennessee Republican Party leaders, they know what they believe and stick to it. I can really respect that. Meanwhile, most Tennessee Democratic leaders are all over the place, pandering to one special interest to another and serving the great incumbency machine that is the General Assembly.

Tennessee Dems need a leader who will demonstrate consistency of values and a sense of idealism that promotes progressive policy to make life better for everyone -- not pursue the lowest common denominator as Sasser demonstrated in using anti-state income tax sentiment to unsuccessfully blunt the wisely placed campaign contributions in legislative races of former Gov. Don Sundquist.

As retiring state Rep. Frank Buck told me, Tennesseans despite the Nov. 4 vote still prefer moderate government. They want both sides working together.

First, however, Democrats in Tennessee must be viewed as standing for something. All Sasser did in his tenure was to be Gov. Phil Bredesen's lapdog. Sasser made excuses for policy decisions Bredesen made that were contrary to what I once thought were Democratic Party ideals of being for the little guy and gal. Health care cuts took lives in Tennessee.

So if you have any recommendations for whom should lead Tennessee Democrats, drop me a note with a bit of rationale, and we'll get the discussion going.

Remember, Sasser got his job because of his famous last name. Our soon-to-be new president sure didn't get his job because his name but by the strength of his ideals and the depth of his passion.

Is there a Democrat in Tennessee to summon the same strengths?

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