I personally think Clay Robison at the Houston Chronicle might be giving Tom DeLay a little bit too much credit, but it's an interesting theory...
"Regardless of how the criminal case against him turns out, former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay finally has learned an important civics lesson," Robison writes. "Perception does count. Had he learned that earlier, perhaps he wouldn't be facing a trial on charges of conspiracy to violate state election laws, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering, stemming from an alleged scheme to illegally funnel corporate money into several Texas legislative races."
Robison credits DeLay with a victory in getting Judge Perkins removed from the case for a paltry $5,000 in campaign contributions to Democrats, but says that, as a result, DeLay can no longer use Perkins as a political distraction.
"DeLay says he is innocent, but, politically, he suffers from a perception problem larger than the one that had Perkins removed from his case, the perception that DeLay's idea of "public service" is defined primarily by money and partisanship.
He didn't invent the hyperpartisan system that has seriously damaged our way of government, ignoring everyday voices and concerns in favor of special interests.
But he has championed that system, often skating on the ethical, if not the legal, edge and assuring that money speaks the loudest in Washington, and only with a Republican tongue."