Ever vigilant, the boss emeritus urges us to prepare for Grahamnesty. These stories about the White House’s big new immigration push pop up every few months, and invariably they’re forgotten a few days later as The One returns to his all-consuming health-care obsession.

But maybe this time is different.

Obama took up the issue privately with his staff Monday in a bid to advance a bill through Congress before lawmakers become too distracted by approaching midterm elections…

Participants in the White House gathering also pointed to an immigration rally set for March 21 in Washington as a way to spotlight the issue and build needed momentum.

Though proponents of an immigration overhaul were pleased that the White House isn’t abandoning the effort, they also want Obama to take on a more assertive role, rather than leave it to Congress to work out a compromise…

But with the healthcare debate still unresolved, Democrats are wary of plunging into yet another polarizing issue. “Right now we have a little problem with the ‘Chicken Little’ mentality: The sky is falling and consequently we can’t do anything,” Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said in an interview.

If anyone can deliver immigration reform to America, it’s an “assertive” president with a 45 percent approval rating who’s lost three big state elections in a row. The goal apparently is to move the bill by early May per the logic that congressmen will be too focused on the midterms after that to take on an issue as divisive as this. Which is hilarious, because if you think they’re not already focused on the midterms after the water torture of this endless ObamaCare process, you’re an even bigger chump than the amnesty shills who think The One’s finally ready to go bat for them. Or are you? Graham is apparently on board, which means they may have 60 votes even if the rest of the GOP votes as a bloc. Then again, there’s zero chance that Blanche Lincoln’s voting for amnesty this year, so that puts them back at 59. And in this case, given the mistrust in the House towards the Senate over O-Care, Reid really would have to go first; there’s no way Pelosi’s going to force imperiled Blue Dogs to vote on an amnesty bill unless Senate Dems have already proved they can get their own bill through.

The wild card is the GOP. Obama obviously wants to use this as wedge issue, to try to cut the Dems’ losses in November by reminding Latino voters that Republicans are “nativists” or whatever. That’ll create huge pressure among moderates like Scott Brown to join with the Dems, which means it may fall to the House GOP to make a tough decision. Do they bite the bullet and vote for amnesty this time, if only to preserve their chances of taking back the House in November, or do they hold out as a bloc in the knowledge that there may be enough red-district Blue Dogs forced to vote no that the bill will not only go down, but go down with bipartisan opposition?

My sense of this has always been that The One expects a new immigration effort to fail and is only interested in placating amnesty groups by showing them that, hey, he tried. But if that’s true, why on earth would he push ahead with it this year? If the bill fails because of Blue Dog opposition, the suppressed turnout among Latinos could make the midterms a Category 5 hurricane for Dems. Exit question: When McCain inevitably votes no on this to prevent Hayworth from using it to destroy him, what’s his excuse going to be?