We could have a Californian as the next speaker of the House of Representatives.

But let’s hope not.

I’ve already written plenty about Kevin McCarthy, who would likely be the speaker if Republicans hold onto the chamber, and his abandonment of principle and morality in embracing President Trump.

So let’s talk about the other prospective speaker from California, Nancy Pelosi, who would seek to take over (and likely would) if Democrats grab the House.

That would be a disaster, and not just for Democrats. Pelosi has a record that Democrats admire, especially around health care, but she has failed the country in a fundamental way.

Pelosi has led the party as it lost ground to a Republican party fueled by white backlash. And she has put herself – and continued career – ahead of her party, even as she became an albatross around it.

But her greater failure is this: she has failed to provide national leadership.

The country, in this hour, desperately needs a clear opposition leader who can counter the president, and has the moral authority to unite the opposition. Neither Pelosi nor her Senate counterpart, Chuck Schumer, has been able to occupy that mantle, despite their high standing.

That means it’s time for her to get out of the way, and help find someone who can be a clear opposition leader. That leader may not be someone who will run for president in 2020. In fact, it ideally could be someone who can help broker and police the Democrats’ fight in 2019 and 2020.

Pelosi doesn’t have the standing to be that person. And her determination to hold on is one obstacle – though surely not the only obstacle – standing in the way of unifying the opposition.

Typically, Californians should root for one of their own to advance to a high office like speaker. But not this year.