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2016 Watch

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Much gnashing of teeth over the annual pseudo-drama on The Hill.  The real damage is being done in the 2015 NDAA, not the Cromnibus, and hopefully the big U-turn to sanity begins when Leader McConnell gets the gavel in January.  I am not getting exercised about a lame duck Congress last flaps of its wings.  If the GOP hadn’t blown the Senate elections in 2010 and 2012 this wouldn’t be happening.

Soon there arrives a GOP majority.  If it shrinks from dueling with the president for however long it takes, then the political paybacks in 2016 will be ugly.  Here’s to hoping the new Congress goes big and quickly in January and February.  If we are talking about the Budget Resolution in April, they will have failed to do so, because before anyone knows it the 2016 campaign will swallow all and force the Congressional GOP to avoid hurting its own field.

It is possible to pass entitlement reform via reconciliation, thus avoiding the 60 vote rule in the Senate.  That’s the key tot country’s economic future, not the $10 billion here or there being debated this week, (and especially not the $4 billion being sliced from the military’s pay and benefits).

It is also possible to pass a serious defense budget with money necessary to rebuild the Navy and begin refurbishing the nuclear deterrent.  A 2016 NDAA should be done by summer, not in December, one that takes into account the coming special commission report on military pay, benefits and retirement systems, and which starts the rebuilding.  There will have to be six Democratic votes found in the Senate to pass that but I expect Leader McConnell will figure that out.

No, prepare to bid a “don’t let the door hit you on the butt” wave goodbye to the 113th and enjoy Christmas, but with an eye on 2016.

On that front, Politico revived the Mitt talk yesterday, and finds it endorsed by the New York Sun this AM.

Michigan’s Rick Snyder seems to have the bug.  Rick Santorum hasn’t lost it.  The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker is tipping Indiana’s Mike Pence as the next Reagan.  When the RNC Debate Committee unveils its debate schedule –sooner rather than later I hope, as lots of schedules turn on that one– the entire field will jell overnight, and whichever body is charged with saying “yea” or “nay” to would-be candidates wanting stage passes will have to get down work.

I am hoping Reince’s committee comes back next week with a tentative schedule as that would fill a huge news hole.  Of course, Sony’s email water torture may be all we need.


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