Chastened by the election results, Republicans have returned to the McCain-Ted Kennedy-George W. Bush immigration consensus that thrived around 2006, which is to create a so-called pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented workers. …

One of the things to look for is whether Obama has the good sense to lead from behind and not claim this plan as his own crusade. That is the surest way to piss off Congress, especially congressional Republicans, just as it is children and bosses. Letting them come up with the plan and showing a willingness to sign off on it would probably be the best bet. If it’s seen as Obama’s plan, they’ll reflexively oppose it. If it’s Marco Rubio’s plan, even if it bears little difference from Obama’s, Republicans—who want Hispanics’ love even more than a tax cut—will embrace it. …

Of course, having set in motion the presidential machinery of claiming it is one of his top priorities, it’s going to be hard for Obama not to lead the charge, especially when it’s like pushing on an open door. Congress has suddenly become receptive. So why not? But despite the temptation to drop one’s own bill in, say, the Senate Judiciary Committee through Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., holding back would make the most sense, lest the president galvanize Republicans.