Outgoing state Democratic Party chair Gray Sasser has been getting a bum rap. The real blame for the party’s big losses in the state legislature rests with—duh!—the Democrats in the legislature. Specifically, that would be Jimmy Naifeh and Gary Odom in the House, and Joe Haynes and Jim Kyle in the Senate. More than Sasser, whose role is mostly one of coordination, the House and Senate Democratic leaders—and I use that word loosely—are responsible for the party’s legislative campaigns.
In this interview with Liberadio(!)
, Sasser is gracious and actually manages to make a few uplifting comments in these dark days for Tennessee Democrats.
A lot of people are casting stones at a lot of different folks over what’s happened, and we do all have to do a little bit of soul searching here. If you want one person to blame, if we can cast the blame and move on, blame me and let’s move on.
And here’s Sasser on the state GOP’s campaign to smear Barack Obama with appeals to bigotry and racism in Tennessee.
I believe in the power of ideas, and I believe our ideas are right and I believe we probably need to use some better language to promote our ideas. But at no point do I ever want to see people in the Democratic Party sending out some of the emails that I’ve seen coming out of the Republican Party. At no point do I want to make an insinuation about somebody’s religion, about somebody’s background, about something that’s not true. We put up some very tough TV ads and tough ads about somebody’s record … but I do not ever want the Tennessee Democratic Party devolve into an Internet attack machine that in some ways we’ve seen from the Republican Party.