Was it a good idea for Republicans to issue their Pledge to America barely a month before the mid-term elections? I doubt it. They were doing pretty well as the party that just says no. That response to Democratic rule, after all, is probably a fair reflection of the electorate’s mood.
Democrats weren’t getting far with their argument, true as it may be, that their opponents are bereft of ideas. However well Republicans do in November, they will not be running the country next year — Obama and his veto pen will be there — so they are under no real obligation to make promises about their policies. Whatever promises they do make will risk seeming phoney. All the Republicans needed to do between now and election day was avoid giving the enemy sustenance by saying or doing something stupid: for many of them, a big enough challenge in its own right. Tactically speaking, the publication of this document was a needless risk: not much upside and plenty of downside.