Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) stunned the Republican Party today when he announced that he would be resigning in a few weeks, rather than finishing out the rest of his term and sticking around until November like he said he would.
Though he publicly claimed that he was jumping ship for “personal reasons,” his long history of criticizing the President and his displeasure with his party’s sharp turn to far-right extremism indicates that there might be other reasons he’s throwing in the towel early. “Accomplishing the most basic fundamental tasks of governance is becoming far too difficult. It shouldn’t be, but that’s reality” groused Dent before announcing his retirement.
His departure leaves an empty seat and Governor Tom Wolfe in a curious position. State law mandates that the governor must mandate a writ of election within ten days of a vacancy and an election within sixty days of that writ, should the writ call for an election, but the state’s primaries for the November 2016 midterm elections are held on May 15th – which doesn’t leave enough time to set up a special.
Democratic Governor Tom Wolfe could call a special election and force Republicans to spend millions defending a seat for just a few months – or he could wait until November, when the new gerrymander-free district map comes into play and Democrats have a better chance of taking the seat permanently.
Whatever happens, Dent’s departure is yet another indication that the Republican Party is reeling despite having control of all three branches of government.
Given the complete absence of any kind of productive legislation over the past year and a half, it’s clear that they have no interest in governing beyond funnelling our nation’s wealth to the ruling oligarchs and engaging in petty culture-war skirmishes with liberals to distract the media and the public from the disgusting heist going on behind the scenes.
We must make sure that they face a reckoning come November.