Republicans who are willing to trade a path to citizenship for today’s illegal workers for a guest-worker program should be cautioned by history. Senate Democrats cut the guts out of a genuine guest-worker program back in 2007, and one of the chief knife-wielders was a freshman senator named Barack Obama…

The administration appears at times to be eager to provoke Senate Republicans into walking away from immigration negotiations. Maybe that’s because Team Obama’s backup plan may be that if they can’t sucker enough Republicans into backing a bad bill, they can sabotage the final product, see it collapse, and then have a political cudgel to bash Republicans as both insensitive to Hispanics and dismissive of their conservative base. Then, the theory goes, Democrats could win back control of the House in the 2014 elections and pass an immigration bill of their own without messy compromises.

I’m not quite that cynical yet, but the way liberals — and some Republicans — have been acting, the old Ronald Reagan admonition might be changed to “distrust and then verify” when it comes to how voters ought to evaluate the ongoing immigration negotiations.