President Trump has a lot of political enemies. And the conventional wisdom in Washington has long and very obviously been that any pain for the president — be it a midterm shellacking, a 2020 electoral ouster, or a damning series of indictments from Special Counsel Robert Mueller — would benefit those who have long opposed him. This is obviously true.
But none of that means that Trump's friends (or frenemies) wouldn't also potentially benefit by the president's loss of power. Indeed, if Trump goes down, everyone might profit. Let's roll through the list.
The progressive left
Too far outside the mainstream to seize national power after Trump, the constellation of ideologies to the left of the establishment Democrats will nevertheless grow stronger when he's gone. Not only will the Jill Stein wing's coziness with Russia fade in the rear view, but anti-Clinton partisans will be re-energized, and huge celebrations among the under-40 set will ameliorate tensions between those for whom capital is the villain and those for whom it's white supremacy.
Losing Trump to scandal means sweet vindication. But it also means pressure from the left is relieved, if only for a moment. At the state and city level, the Democratic base under Trump has swung far, far away from the likes of outgoing California Gov. Jerry Brown or embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. But at the federal level, the steady hand and principled opposition of well-ensconced Washington Democrats will become more valuable than ever. Especially from donors and heavyweight corporations, they'll want — and get — a post-Trump dividend.
Republicans who mildly opposed Trump
Standard-issue GOPers in the mold of Marco Rubio looking to recover their established roles at the center of the party will have a field day in Trump's wake. Some will even take one last stab at convincing Americans they can go back to the days of Reagan — for real this time. But even more importantly, they can — and will — present themselves as having learned from the Trump debacle, retooling their candidates and their message for an "America First Lite" era.
Republicans who devotedly supported Trump
Yes, they'll get stronger too, even with their champion out of the picture. Nothing could be easier or more satisfying — or, honestly, more plausible — than pinning the failures of "Trumpism," whatever that was, on Trump's personal foibles. Always a transitional figure anyway, Trump's departure would clear the path for a younger, sharper, and more digitally canny leader — one who knows how to advocate burly-government nationalism that works more for working families than for unemployed Nazis.
And don't forget ...
With Trump out of the way, the race will be on to satisfy America's unabated craving to elevate wealthy celebrities without political experience to the highest echelons of power. You know it's true. Paging President Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson ...