Republican dissidents, who believe Boehner has been too accommodating to liberals and too quick to punish conservative rebels, point out that a speaker must be elected with 218 votes, an absolute majority of all House members, including Republicans. Ballots continue to be cast until someone gains a majority. If only 17 GOP members publicly go against Boehner or abstain, he could be denied the speakership. Rebels hope that after such a no-confidence vote, Boehner would withdraw and let other names be put forward, much as Margaret Thatcher did in 1990 when she failed to win a majority vote for leadership of her own party’s members of Parliament…

That is an exaggeration, but the truth is that most GOP members still like Boehner even if they disagreed with him on raising taxes as part of Plan B. At least he didn’t force members to take a vote on Plan B — “a vote many of them didn’t want to have to take,” a top GOP leadership aide told CNN. Peter Roff, a U.S. News & World Report columnist and former adviser to Newt Gingrich, tells me that no one should bet against Boehner.