Congressman Michael Burgess (R-TX) was on WBAP's Mark Davis show this morning discussing the already heavily-maligned Pledge to America. Congressman Burgess, over the course of the discussion, had a very interesting thing to highlight about the Pledge.
Most of the reporting, here and elsewhere, has been operating under the assumption that, much like Newt Gingrich's Contract With America, that the Pledge to America represented what a newly-elected Congress would undertake starting in 2011.
Congressman Burgess, however, contradicted that assumption, and prompted by his assertions I scanned the text of the Pledge until I got to what I was looking for, in the very final section of the Pledge (mid-paragraph emphasis my own):
Call to Action
Built through a process of listening to the people, this is our Pledge to America. To Begin the process of implementing a new governing agenda that honors our Constitution and reflects the will of the people, we call on the leadership of the 111th Congress to bring these reforms and policies to an immediate vote, and ask all citizens of our Nation - men and women of good will and good heart - who share in our beliefs, to join with us today.
If you're unsure of the number, let me confirm: the 111th Congress is the current Congress, and therefore the leadership referred to is Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the Democrat majority.
That would seem to change the picture a bit.
On the one hand, there is an implication of "we would go even farther if it were up to us, but this is the best we believe we can ask of you, as Democrats".
On the other hand, though, that also means we're left without any explicit promises as to what an elected Republican majority in Congress would do starting next year.
So what do we make of this? Did you notice this last section before? If not, does this alter your view of the Pledge meaningfully? Does it make it better? Does it make it worse? Discuss.