How? Elving says Boehner has to go back to negotiations with Obama. Then he has to get a deal that would pass with what Elving calls a “half-and-half,” meaning half of the Democrats and half of the Republicans, plus one.

“So that at that point it’s clear to the Senate they’ve got to vote for this or we’re going over the cliff. That could probably clear the Senate — probably,” he says. “And it could get done, theoretically, in time to be approved before the new tax and spending changes everybody’s so afraid of really kick in [come] January.”

Even if Boehner has to get help from Democrats to get a deal, he would be in a better position in the end, Elving says.

“That, I believe, would make enough Republicans feel better than they feel right now. Right now, the way they feel is that they’ve been embarrassed by some of their members, their speaker has been humiliated in public,” he says.