The specter of a lame duck session has conservatives preemptively enraged, and, while it would be a good way for Democrats to pass bills after Election Day and before the new Congress is sworn in (with some Democratic members, inevitably, having lost their jobs), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is urging lawmakers not to show up for work after Election Day.


The idea is simple: lawmakers should pledge now that they will not attend a lame duck session of Congress, period.

More accurately, Gingrich is urging (web page here) supporters of his group, American Solutions, to urge their representatives to sign this pledge:

To Member of Congress:

Congressional Democrats are plotting right now to subvert the will of the American people.  You have the power to stop them.  

Leading Congressional Democrats are dead set on passing controversial and unpopular legislation in a special Lame Duck session of Congress after the November 2nd Election.   It's the only way Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi can succeed in advancing their unpopular agenda because they know they do not have the support of the American people.

Knowing that a Lame Duck session is the only way Democrats  can succeed, will you sign the following No Lame Duck Pledge:

I, undersigned Member of the 111th Congress, pledge to the citizens of the State of _____________  I will not participate in a Lame Duck session of Congress.  I believe reconvening the Congress after the  November 2nd election and prior to the seating of the new 112th Congress, smacks of the worst kind of political corruption.  Attempting to pass unpopular legislation subverts the will of the American people and is an abusive power grab.      

We know Democrats are capable of using cheap tricks.  We saw it during debate of health care reform.   We know they are willing to ignore the will of the people.  They ignored the town hall meetings and the clear signal the voters of Massachusetts sent by electing Scott Brown and passed the health care bill anyway. 

Given the Democrats track record during this current session of Congress, the American people have the right to know where their elected representatives stand. 

Your friend,

[Newt Gingrich]

This would be an interesting inversion of the House Republicans' 2008 decision to remain in the House during August recess to protest Democratic energy legislation. Republicans also walked out of the House chamber as recently as February 2008 to protest an update to the law (known as FISA) that governs surveillance.

Of course, if only Republicans follow through on this pledge, Democrats will be able to pass whatever they want, without obstruction...

But there's another benefit to issuing this call now: American Solutions expects that the notion of a lame duck session will come up repeatedly in town-hall meetings throughout August. Gingrich is planting the questions in the minds of his supporters, to be asked of Democrats perhaps more forcefully than Republicans: What do you think of a lame duck session? Will you participate in that strategy, if Democratic leadership attempts to pass significant legislation that way?

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