American voters simply have not seen this as a crisis that affects their real lives on Main Street - it is seen as a welfare scheme for the humbled plutocrats of Wall Street.
If the problems deepen and people suddenly see unemployment rising because businesses cannot get money from the banks to pay their bills and honour their payrolls, then that sentiment might change.
That is the optimistic assessment - that American lawmakers and voters having registered their pain and anger will eventually fall into line and give the US Treasury the money it wants.
The pessimistic assessment is almost too frightening to contemplate.
It is that a majority of members of Congress, backed by their voters, simply do not believe in a plan which basically involves the United States government borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars to prop up a financial system which is clearly deeply flawed.
If the warnings from US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson are to believed, such a decision would usher in an age of catastrophe.
We will discover in the next few days which of those two interpretations will be borne out - when the issue is put back before the House of Representatives and the House once again says "yes" or "no".
Anyone else nervous?