You would have thought fires bearing down on the national capital would have snapped the federal government out of its childish behaviour, that plummeting opinion polls would have sent a clear message the electorate is fed up.
It seems not.
After copping a shellacking for being missing in action at the height of the bushfire emergency, forcing handshakes in traumatised disaster zones, then trying to convince a sceptical nation there was nothing to see in the sports rorts affair, you'd have thought the prime minister would have imposed some discipline on his own ranks.
It was not to be.
As parliament returned after its long summer break, the Canberra bubble was back in business, this time with the junior Coalition partner eating its own in the wake of the resignation of National Party deputy leader Brigdet McKenzie.
The il-fated attempt by Barnaby Joyce to take the leadership from Michael McCormack might provide the Canberra media circus with endless commentary and speculation but for us in the bushfire zone, it's another unwelcome distraction that has us asking if the government is up to the monumental task ahead of it.
Recovery and reconstruction should be the main game in town but in Canberra - at least within the parliamentary circle - attention will now drift once more to leadership, not just of the Nationals but inevitably the Liberal Party as well.
You can almost hear the revolving door creaking into motion.
And, really, it's the last thing we on the South Coast need when people are struggling with losing their homes and their livelihoods.
It's the last thing the people of Canberra, for that matter, want either. For weeks, they've been suffocating in the same smoke which has compromised the health of countless fellow Australians. In recent days, they too have faced approaching bushfires.
During times of national crisis, the national government must be fit to govern. Its leaders must be present (a lesson we hope Scott Morrison has learned) and they must be focused. Falling foul of their own silly antics - of which the sports rorts fiasco is a breathtaking example - is unforgivable. Such scandals simply shouldn't happen.
Playing self-serving leadership games when they should be rebuilding a brutalised country is simply grotesque.