Democrats own the Left. Might as well accept it.

It would appear that the National Republican Campaign Committee has thrown in the towel in the NY-23 race. As I said yesterday, it looks like at least some Republicans can see lightning and hear thunder. Even Michael Steele looks like getting a clue. (All via memeorandum.)

It’s about time.

Mark Ambinder at The Atlantic snarks, “…Republicans versus Conservatives, Governing Conservatives versus Theoretical Conservatives, Palin-Beck Crazies versus Sane Modernists.” Well, yes, shorn of the sneers, that’s just what’s going on.

If both parties have the same policies and ideological orientation, there’s no need for two parties. People who want to vote for Big Government, for “compassion” (meaning redistribution, envy, and jealousy of the more fortunate), for a society of dependents who can’t wipe their butts without aid from the Department of Personal Hygiene, are going to vote for Democrats. No amount of “me too!” is going to attract them to Republicans, because Democrats have made those things their emblem and standard. A Republican campaigning on “compassionate conservatism” is behind the curve right from engine start, because the Democrat will always be ahead on that issue.

If there is a future for the Republican Party, it is opposition to that kind of policy. That’s what the TEA Parties are all about; that’s what the “Palin-Beck crazies” are preaching. It’s impossible to build the Republican Party back up by moving it to the Left, because the Democrats own the Left.

The McCain-Gingrich Republicans see the issues as part of a “big tent” strategy, in which the Republican Party should adopt Leftoid policies and strategies to attract independent voters. It would have been a perfectly appropriate approach as recently as Bush I, and indeed it was the strategy largely adopted. Events since have demonstrated that it is the wrong strategy now.

If, as a commenter at Akbar’s post suggests, this is the death of the Republican Party, so be it. Parties have died before. It ain’t necessarily so, though. Poll after poll has suggested, and the Palin phenomenon and TEA Parties demonstrate, that there is still a significant conservative sentiment in this country, and if Republicans seize it and run with it they have a chance to remain viable, even if in the minority.

Say it again, say it loud: Democrats own the Left. There is no future for the Republican Party in trying to adopt Leftist philosophies to attract the independent voter. People who want Democrats will vote for real ones.