When Hanford Republican Andy Vidak was elected last month in a heavily Democratic Central Valley state Senate district, it was good news for Republicans but even better news for Californians in general.

For California, and especially for the state’s Democratic legislators, it was a much-needed reminder that partisanship isn’t always destiny when it comes to elections. Regardless of the registration numbers, you’ve still got to run – and win – the race.

The fact that the vote moved the Democrats a bit closer to losing their much-vaunted supermajority in the Legislature is just an added lagniappe.

Vidak’s win didn’t come out of the blue. He lost a tight congressional race to Fresno-area Democrat Jim Costa in 2010, and almost won the 16th District state Senate seat outright in the primary when he fell just short of collecting 50 percent of the vote.

For California Republicans, desperate for any good news, the 52 percent to 48 percent victory over Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez was a sign that the GOP is back and that the Democrats’ message was being rejected in the state’s heartland.

Maybe so, although the fact that it was a low turnout special election in a district centered around Vidak’s home county likely had something to do with it.

That did not stop GOP blogger Jon Fleischman from crowing on these electronic pages earlier this week that the vote gave Republicans a chance to show that they are not a party “fading to irrelevance, but one that is on the verge of turning the tide.”

And how will they accomplish this? By uniting to block any Democratic proposal that requires a two-thirds vote, seemingly without worrying whether it’s good for the state or not.

Missing the point, Jon.

The main reason a Democratic supermajority is a bad thing isn’t because it’s Democratic, but because it’s a supermajority. No political party has a monopoly on good ideas and legislation is almost always better when it’s tested in the fire of heated discussion and debate that means something.

Sure, the Democratic Party is no monolith and there’s a yawning political chasm between San Francisco’s Mark Leno and Orange County’s Lou Correa in the state Senate.

But the whole point of a supermajority is that it’s there if and when you need it. All the important policy discussions can take place with your friends and fellow party members, without the annoyance of having to worry about the concerns of those pesky folks on the other side of the aisle.

For a politician, it’s a fun way to govern and plenty of Democratic firebrands have urged legislators to make use of their recently won power to steamroll the remaining Republicans and push through measures that wouldn’t otherwise have a chance of becoming law.

Which is just one reason why Gov. Jerry Brown, who’s trying to keep his fellow Democrats on a strict budget – his budget — is the GOP’s new BFF.

But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do something and Democrats should be leery about turning the Legislature into a party-line paradise.

That works both ways. If Democrats are going to pay attention to the interests and ideas of GOP legislators, something that hasn’t happened much in the past few years, Republicans have to be something other than the knee-jerk party of no.

A few weeks ago, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was asked about a student loan package that was being pushed by the GOP leadership after coming back from conference committee with the Senate.

The bill “is the best we can do at this time,” she said. “It isn’t the bill we would have written, but it is a bill that can pass and will have Democrats for and against.”

A measure that’s “the best we can do at this time?” And one that “will have Democrats for and against?”

That’s what comes from legislating, something that can get lost in the Democrats search for a permanent supermajority in Sacramento.

John Wildermuth is a longtime writer on California politics.