is Californication.

While everybody was focused on NY-23, several of the Leftoid blogs were crowing about CA-10, where Matt Ortega has called it for John Garamendi (D), with 42,608 (56.12%) over David Harmer (R), 30,015 (39.53%). Reading Zilani’s piece and associated comments last night, I wondered why that didn’t bother me. CA-10 is in the East Bay, which used to be a Republican area. Now that Hoffman has conceded — no, the absentee ballots aren’t relevant; the (R) ones will be for Scozzafava — it’s become more clear.

The California Republican Party long ago adopted the “me too” strategy with regards to its Democratic opponents. They are “moderate”. They are “bipartisan”. And they are almost entirely irrelevant, it being fairly clear that the only thing they have to offer is a different logo. Once in a while they eke out a win or two, but when they do the person who takes office governs like a centrist or slightly-left Democrat. Meanwhile, conservative measures do very well in the initiative-and-referendum system they have there — I lived in California when Proposition 13 was voted on, and later votes haven’t been terribly different.

Rightist blogs have been commiserating with one another to the effect that the McDonnell and Christie wins make up for Hoffman’s loss. That’s almost correct. It works if you’re thinking only of Party identification in the sports-team sense. Both of the new Governors ran as “me too, but cheaper” Republicans against (respectively) a flaming Liberal and one of the most corrupt and inept people outside Chicagoland. Their wins, plus Hoffman’s loss, add up to vindication of that approach in the minds of the RNCC.

The result can only be continual conversion of the national Republican Party to a larger version of the California one — focused on getting power, privilege, and oh those campaign donations by going along with whatever the Democratic Party proposes. That is, after all, “centrist”. It’s “bipartisan”. It “attracts Independents”. It also results in irrelevance. People who want Democrats will vote for Democrats, not imitations who are clearly only in it for the egoboo.

I continue to believe there is a future for Conservatives in politics, even if it’s only as a minority in opposition, but it’s clearly not with the Republican Party, because there is no Republican Party. There are only the Democrats and the Other Democrats, and the ODP isn’t going to tolerate Conservatism. It isn’t “centrist”.