I found Jonathan Bernstein's post on the political challenges facing John Boehner quite good.
Boehner has to satisfy people in the Republican base who watch Rush, Beck, and Hannity without passing any of the big crazy things they want, since Democrats control the White House and the Senate. As commenters note, a lot of whether he can keep the base happy is going to depend on how much right-wing media figures feel like demanding of him. Perhaps they'll demand the impossible. Perhaps they'll be okay with it if he delivers only minor symbolic things. I really don't know.