Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer their insight into the biggest news story burning up the blogosphere today.

Today's question:

What will the fallout be if Congress does not pass healthcare reform by the Easter/Passover recess?

Damon N. Spiegel, entrepreneur and writer, said:

I can only imagine that if Congress does not pass healthcare care reform by Easter/ Passover it will die a slow and pathetic death. The battle for whose fault it is will commence with exuberant fury into the November election.

Clearly Healthcare reform will be watered down to Insurance reform and a small bill will be passed on only the items that Obama noted during his televised healthcare debate as the points that both parties agreed on.  The administration will take this to the bank as a success and any failure will be pointed to the Republicans.  Come November, the Republicans will run fierce campaigns across the country letting the people know that the democrats had failed in creating any new efficiencies or cost controls within Healthcare.  The fight will be begin and nothing will happen.  It will be seen as a massive legislative failure for all both nationally and internationally.  Fortunately this will happen at the helm of President Obama and should minimize any chance he has for a re-election.

Obama lost this battle when he didn’t get involved and didn’t get a bill passed before the winter recess.  He underestimated the size and scope of this reform and arrogantly overestimated his skills as a leader.

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said: 

The Easter Bunny won't leave any eggs and Elijah won't drink his cup of wine.

Delay doesn't help the reform effort. I think everyone knows that.

John F. McManus, president of The John Birch Society, said:

The fallout will be a huge downer for the Obama agenda.  If Congress says No to his healthcare proposal (it's not "reform," it's a takeover!), he will have an extremely difficult time getting anything through Congress.
There's a great deal riding on the outcome of the current legislative war. The country will be well-served by an emasculation of the President and his plans.  He will have become a virtual lame duck with more than 2.5 years left in his term. The Democrat's hold on Congress will likely be broken in the Fall elections.  And the President's desire for amnesty for illegal immigrants, an ID card for virtually every American, and more inching toward internationalism at the expense of sovereignty will all be thwarted.
It seems pretty obvious that he knows exactly what I have stated above.  This is why he's pulling out all the stops to shove the healthcare takeover down the throats of the American people.  He must not succeed!

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, said:

ObamaCare seems like the monster in a Wes Craven horror flick -- whenever you think it's dead, it pops up again.  That said, Obama's continued slide in the polls, and the polls' also showing increasing vulnerability of even "safe" Congressional Democrats to challenge, means that folks on Capitol Hill have to be getting anxious to put this behind them.  At some point Obama stops looking like a Wes Craven monster and starts looking like the Black Knight in Monty Python's Holy Grail.  We're getting close . . .

Peter Navarro
, professor of economics and public policy at UC Irvine, said:

Today’s big question is billed as “Do or die for Dems”.  It should be called “Do and Die” because if they ram through a bill, dying in the 2010 elections is exactly what is going to happen.

John Feehery, Pundits Blog Contributor, said:

Constituents will make life miserable for those who are in swing districts, and Pelosi will end up having to pull the bill and move on to other things. 

Justin Raimondo,
editorial director, said:

If Congress fails to pass healthcare "reform," i.e. if they fail to pass a law forcing everyone to buy from monopolistic politically-connected insurance companies, the fallout will be very bad for the Democrats: while the insurers and Big Pharma may not start backing the Republicans, the funding the Dems need to retain their congressional majority may not be forthcoming. Oh, bummer!

Failure to pass this boondoggle will be seen as a victory for ] the hated "Tea Partiers": if they hadn't mobilized, in a massive and visible way, it would have passed, and probably with some Republican support. As it is, the tea partiers have their GOP members of Congress scared to death that someone will out them as RINOs. Back in the closet they scuttle!

The major media will mourn the "loss," talk about how every President since Truman has tried to "accomplish" this, and then focus on the enemy: the hated tea partiers and other evil "populists" who stood in the way of "progress." We'll read long exposes of "anti-government" and "extremist" groups supposedly lurking in the background, waiting for their chance: the militias, the tax protesters, the Poujadists of the fast-fading middle classes, who are supposedly "dangerous" in their "anger." We''ll get experts on "extremism," who will proceed to lecture us on the history of "extremism": Huey Long, Father Coughlin, the Townsend Plan, the Silver Shirts, and more recently the John Birch Society, Alex Jones, etc. etc. The propaganda campaign of fear and smearing has only just begun....

Healthcare "reform" -- this is legislation that both the Big Corporations and the "progressives" can get behind, with the trinity of Big Government, Big Business, and Big Labor looking to cartelize not only healthcare but the entire American economy (the banks, auto, etc.). And if you oppose this agenda you're a "right-wing extremist," and Janet Napolitano no doubt has your name in her database.