Tom DeLay, the departed Republican House leader, has to be given full credit for pulling off the perfect political theft. He knew what he was doing.
It was DeLay who maneuvered the redistricting of Texas in 2004 that gave the Republicans six more seats in the House. The loss to the Democrats included four incumbents, among them Martin Frost, a bitter enemy of the Hammer.
A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the changes in the Texas map were legal, even though they came six years before the 2010 census. While the court cited one district in South Texas as being unfair to Latinos, it opened the door to other states to make changes without regard to the year of the census.
The Democrats have every right to retaliate for DeLay's chicanery if he wants to play this power game. It is a clear case of don't get mad, get even.
However, the problem is the Democrats have few if any targets. There are too many safe seats, thanks to both parties in most legislatures.
Illinois could be a possible choice, but there seems to be no interest in the legislature. Nearly all seats in Chicago and downstate are secure.
California is another potential battleground. But the Democrats need to win the governorship this fall, and even if it happens, incumbent protection is strong in both parties.
New York could be in play if Democrat Eliot Spitzer wins his bid for governor in November. The Democrats could go after a few GOP-ers in upstate New York and possibly pose a threat. But the outlook isn't too promising.
So, Mr. DeLay, you got away with it. You get the prize hands down for political theft with a lift from seven justices of the high court.
Next: Will the real John McCain stand up?