The vast majority of the public — like the vast majority of Congress — have not read the bills pending on the Hill. Their opinions will necessarily be based on general impressions. Liberals no doubt think the public is confused or misled, even though the Democrats have unleashed a torrent of misinformation about their plans.

But the Democrats’ problem may be much deeper than that. The public has had just over seven months to judge the Obama administration and the Democrat-led Congress, and has been reminded of what the Democrats are about. They see the fantastically expensive stimulus package failed to stimulate the economy to date, and they are reminded of who the Democrats are. They hear Democrats gush with praise over the legislative record of the late Sen. Kennedy, and are reminded of who the Democrats are. They hear Pres. Obama try to reassure people by comparing the public option to the Post Office, and are reminded of who the Democrats are…

In short, the Democrats’ real problem may be their reputation as the party of big government. The GOP did not do well during the Bush administration, but the Democrats have made them look like pikers in short order. As Sargent’s fears, that problem would extend beyond ObamaCare — and be near-insoluble to boot.