Leaving aside the investigations into the deepest recesses of President Donald Trump’s nefarious business dealings, the next worst thing that could happen to him is the loss of even fragile support for his shaky legislative agenda.

It may have just happened with the announced retirement of Paul Ryan as House Speaker.

California’s House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, might be first in line to replace him. But would he want the job and could he even get it?

Ryan has been a reluctant ally willing to put up with Trump’s capriciousness and a steady hand at the tiller as the Republican Party continues to navigate through increasingly turbulent waters.

If the 48-year old leader from Wisconsin is willing to surrender one of the highest offices in the land—second only in line to the presidency—it says something about the impending disarray that he may be convinced will befall his party in the November elections.

Ryan—his party’s Vice Presidential candidate in 2012— may foster ambitions to move into the Oval Office in his own right.

As one man who looked very much like its potential savior just a few years ago he may not want to be that visible if the walls come tumbling down in the next elections.

Even so, as a leading architect of the tax reform legislation that got through Congress—arguably this Administration’s signal achievement– and the individual Trump relied upon for some containment, Ryan will have trouble dissociating himself entirely from what is to come.

Even more importantly, Ryan has been able near single-handedly to assert some discipline over the rebellious Freedom Caucus troops to the far right.

Many of them would have few qualms if Ryan were replaced by one of their own such as Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, a Caucus leader.

It is unclear whether McCarthy, a similar moderate by GOP standards who has for most part been a stalwart defender of Trump’s, could command the same allegiance.

But if the scandals now swirling around a president looking more unhinged each day begin to fully engulf him leading possibly to impeachment proceedings, Ryan may have decided it will preserve his options best if he is at a safer distance.

The staunchest House conservatives may have fewer qualms with the undoing of the president and the departure of Ryan will remove a buffer zone in which many GOP moderates including McCarthy could hide behind.

McCarthy will need to reassess how best to protect himself from the fallout sure to come if Trump’s troubles become insurmountable without alienating those GOP colleagues on the Right who are prepared to ditch the president entirely if his position becomes untenable.

They also control enough votes to determine who will become their next leader.

Aside from the House leadership fight that is bound to take place with Ryan’s exit, other California GOP members seeking re-election should also be taking careful notice of Ryan’s decision.

If his surprise announcement is a portent of future developments, they—and their kindred colleagues across the nation– will have to choose between continuing to support the president’s policies or parting ways.

The next major test of their resolve could be the firing of Special Prosecutor, Robert Mueller, or other higher-ups in the Justice Department which Trump is now threatening if they do not adhere to his will.

This could precipitate a full-blown constitutional crisis which goes well beyond the ramifications of Ryan’s departure that many are beginning to equate with Watergate or worse.

In short, there are few safe places left in which to hide if this president continues his seemingly uncontrollable rampage through the laws that bind the nation, abandoning the honorable and proud party he represents which he seems hell-bent to destroy.

Whether he will succeed is largely up to those currently in power who have the responsibility to rein him in which Ryan appears to be abdicating and in which the other party leaders seem disinterested.

The ultimate authority of course rests with the voters who may help to settle the issue in November or bring it to further broil. Californians could have a large say in how all this turns out.