Obama's Latest Play for Latinos Lacks True Leadership

But there’s more to it than that. Obama will bring up immigration reform next year.

Bet on it. Not because he wants to get anything done, or because he suddenly feels the urge to keep the promise he made to Latino voters in the 2008 election. He’ll bring up immigration reform because he wants to see Republicans kill it -- and cook their goose, in doing so, with Latino voters in 2012. This is a set-up. Obama knows exactly how Republicans will likely react to his push for a comprehensive approach to this problem. In fact, he’s counting on it.

The trap is set. If all goes as planned, Obama will get credit from Latino voters for trying to do the right thing, and the GOP will be pummeled for not letting him. And since nothing will get done, Obama and congressional Democrats don’t have to worry about a backlash from organized labor.

Hats off. It’s an impressive maneuver that will probably wind up serving Obama’s reelection campaign with no downside. But it won’t serve the country well, or help fix an immigration system that is beyond broken. That would require something on which Obama seems to be running low: leadership.