I think Ramesh is exactly right on the big picture. The Pledge is good, not great, and it’s better to have it than not (in my opinion). But you want there to be tension between conservatives and the Republican party — healthy tension. There was too little of it in the Bush years.
I have a column coming out tomorrow on the Pledge (as I suspect many others do as well). One point/criticism I couldn’t find room for is purely tactical. By announcing it today — the day various Obamacare perks go into effect – the coverage wasn’t ideal. On the Today Show, NPR, and other outlets, the news went as follows: “Here are all these wonderful goodies health-care reform is delivering, and here are all these nice people who will be helped by it. And, in other news, the Republicans want to take all of it away.” Needless to say, NPR et al. were not eager to revisit the new costs these perks would offer, so it came across as if the GOP just wants to hurt these beneficiaries and “turn back the clock.”
It’s not a big deal, but a roll out a day earlier or a day later would have given the Pledge more coverage and arguably in a slightly better context.