Democrats didn’t have a clear, pithy way to describe what they stood for to average Americans. Republicans…could describe their values in seven words: “tax cuts, Iraq war, no gay marriage.”
Bleff goes on to lay out the ways the Democratic party seemed to be stuck in a bit of an identity crisis during the Bush years, supporting things they might not have before and “minimiz[ing] differences” between themselves and Bush. He even calls the party of yore “Bush light.”
Since then, Bleff says, the Democrats got their act together and effectively started to perform the identity they said they had. This in turn strengthened the party by providing a cohesive, coherent, presentable image to the public. Then they won a second term.
Not to oversimplify the details in this article, but I think it can be equated somewhat with performing an identity via any social media site. If you want to build credibility, you have to know what you’re putting out there. There’s no room for having a taste performance of authenticity or differentiation in a high stakes political sphere (arguably less so with differentiation). I’m not sure how a Republican or Democratic nominee would fair if he or she “breaks from form,” or is “moderately coherent to incoherent” and always making “disingenuous mistakes” (Liu 263). Isn’t that kind of why we rag on Sarah Palin?
Towards the end of his rah-rah-Democrats article, Bleff writes that
chances are good that if [a political party] can’t describe itself to voters in a short, clear way, a party may have a problem connecting with the electorate.
Wouldn’t you have a problem connecting with your actual/imagined/nightmare/any audience if you had no clear and concise online identity?