Paul D. Ryan became the youngest Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives since Reconstruction when he first took the gavel on October 29, 2015. On that day, Speaker Ryan looked out at  his 434 colleagues and saw a majority party fractured by the rise of Tea Party extremists among the Republican caucus. He pledged, “We are not going to have a House that looked like it did the last few years. We are going to unify.” Although his distaste for the same hyper-conservative rebels who created the job opening Ryan would later occupy is certainly ironic in hindsight, his pledge of unity is what sticks out like a sore thumb.

For the first 27 months of his speakership, Ryan acted as the epitome of anti-Obama obstructionism. Fueled by thousands of dollars of NRA money, Ryan once shut off the C-SPAN feed of the House when Democrats staged a sit-in on the floor of the lower chamber. He completely refused to entertain the Democrats’ demand for an up-or-down vote on basic gun control measures following the attack on the PULSE gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida that killed 49. For ten years, Ryan led the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, turn Medicaid into a block grant system, cut Medicare by $800 billion, and, most ambitiously, overhaul Social Security. Time and time again, Ryan failed, accomplishing none of these priorities.

Ryan did accomplish one of his main policy goals last December when President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) into law, fulfilling the speaker’s long-held desire to shrink duties on the nation’s wealthiest corporations and individuals in a bill marketed as “economic stimulus for the middle class.” Paul Ryan entered government in 1999 as a proponent of “fiscal responsibility”; the TCJA, a bill he helped draft, will increase the budget deficit by $1.46 trillion dollars over the next decade.

The point is that not only has Paul Ryan failed to enact any of his core agenda but that those minor victories he cherished so greatly as well as the agenda itself were inherently bad for Americans. As a result of Paul Ryan’s leadership, the welfare programs that so many Americans rely on are weaker, and the political landscape is more combative. In many ways, he embodied the Tea Party itself: incessant disruption and obstruction on account of “policy priorities” followed by the exposure of incompetence once real influence was obtained.

The United States of America could be a better place without Paul Ryan as its Speaker of the House—but that depends on who replaces him. With the House majority party for the 116th Congress yet to be determined, the speakership hinges on the 2018 midterm elections.

With Democrats likely slight favorites to win control of the lower chamber, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi could be poised to retake her position as speaker. However, Pelosi is a deeply unpopular figure (28.6% favorability), especially among Republicans, and is commonly used in attack ads and other campaign materials to motivate conservative voters. This has led some candidates, such as newly elected Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, to distance themselves from Pelosi, a trend that may continue in redder areas following Lamb’s shocking special election victory in a congressional district that voted for Trump by 19 points.

If Republicans can reverse the liberal tide and hold onto a slim majority, all signs point to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy as the heir apparent. However, the same Tea Party-fueled Freedom Caucus that once stifled a McCarthy bid for the speakership and opened the door for Ryan is making noise. Some members have endorsed caucus leader Rep. Jim Jordan, who, on account of his far-right tendencies, is unlikely to garner the votes to become speaker but could certainly cause trouble within a paper-thin GOP majority.

At 48 years old, Ryan is still viable for a presidential run. But for now, he is (finally) leaving the United States government. This is a time to rejoice—but also to be wary of Ryan-like pledges of bipartisan unity. This November, it will be all too easy for Americans to elect the next Paul Ryan.