Most people would agree that it’s unlikely that, for lack of a better term, an “establishment” member of the House GOP caucus would challenge Boehner. So any challenge is more likely to come from a conservative frustrated with his lack of progress on cutting spending. But right now, if you’re a conservative in the House, the current state of affairs is quite good with Boehner in charge — at least as far as your career is concerned. You get to blast any deal that gets struck, reiterating your support for lowering taxes, reducing spending and reforming entitlements — all of which burnishes your “true conservative” credentials. You get to go home to your constituents and attack back door Washington dealmaking. And if no deal gets struck and Republicans get blamed for any consequences that ensue, it’s Boehner that will absorb punishment as the public face of the party. Sure, the media will generically blast “tea party extremists” — but no individual member will be singled out for blame. And individual members can argue that if only Boehner had listened to them and pursued a different strategy, Republicans could have won the showdown. But if you’re actually in charge, suddenly you’re the one in the cross hairs. You become tainted by the Washington process. And because everybody who is being intellectually honest knows that Obama will never sign on to a small government agenda, you’re destined to be ineffective and to lose your conservative street cred.