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

Today’s question:

What do Democrats stand to gain or lose politically if they go it alone on healthcare?

Michelle D. Bernard, president & CEO of the Independent Women’s Forum, said:

President Obama ran as a centrist politician who would rise above petty politics and work with both parties to find solutions that work for America. Today, all the political back-and-forth that’s occurred up to this point in time will be overshadowed by the outcome of the health care debate. This legislation will radically alter the way the American health care system works, affecting just about every American. Right now, many Americans are frustrated with the way that this debate has been conducted and believe that the legislation that will be passed will make things worse, not better.

The Independent Women’s Forum will release findings from a poll of women this week that should serve as a wake-up call to political leaders. Political wisdom has been that women are natural supporters of more liberal policy prescriptions, and all believe government will do a better job running our health care system. But this just isn’t the case.

All this means that there is great political danger in the Democrats proceeding to ram through such an ambitious bill without any buy-in from Republicans. It isn’t just Republicans that they will alienate, but all of the Independents and moderates who believed in the idea that President Obama represented a new brand of politics.