There is every reason to believe the Morrison government came away from this year's Federal election convinced the new Senate cross-bench would be more tractable than the one which had preceded it. That was certainly the prevailing view at the time.
If so, then the ill-concealed jubilation with which Mr Morrison and Mr Frydenberg greeted the ease with which their tax cuts made their way through the upper chamber now seems to have been premature.
Last week's unexpected defeat of the quaintly entitled "ensuring integrity" union busting legislation following apparent changes of heart by both Senator Hanson and Senator Lambie came as a shock to the system.
It was abundantly clear neither Hanson nor Lambie had thrown in their lots with one side of the chamber or the other and that their votes were highly negotiable.
Neither supporting, nor opposing, lower tax cuts for working families could be seen as an indicator of where you might stand when it came to an attack on workers' rights.
This week, with the last days of the parliamentary year slipping away like the sands of time through an hourglass, Morrison, Dutton and company are having another crack at an ideologically driven triumph.
This week's chosen target is the controversial "medevac" legislation introduced to parliament by Dr Kerryn Phelps exactly one year ago today (December 3, 2018).
Not content with winning the seat back for the Coalition, Liberal hardliners are determined to dismantle Dr Phelps's humanitarian legislation to make it easier for refugees detained on Manus Island and Nauru to be brought to Australia for specialist medical treatment.
The latest word is Senator Lambie, who helped thwart the "ensuring dignity" bill, might give the government what it wants in exchange for its agreement to allow refugees to be sent to New Zealand.
The Coalition has repeatedly refused to do this, saying it might then be possible for former detainees to make their way to Australia.
Surely the government has more important things to be doing right now than this.
If that were to happen the long running, and absurd, claim that under an LNP government nobody who arrived by boat would ever gain residency in Australia would be well and truly exposed for the lie it is.
The facts, as reported by the refugee council, are straightforward. As at October 27 this year a total of 4,177 people had been sent to Nauru or Papua New Guinea as part of the offshore processing arrangements since August 13, 2012.
Of these 3,127 were sent after July 19, 2013, when it was formally announced boat arrivals would no longer be resettled in Australia under any circumstances.
As of September 30, 2019 there were just 562 left on Nauru and in New Guinea. By October 21, 2019, there were just three men left on Manus Island. 632 had been sent to the US. Another 1,117 had been transferred to Australia for medical and other reasons up until September 30. Of these only about 180 had come as a result of the medevac legislation.
So, in short, what is all the fuss about? Despite the claims that were made at the time the medevac bill did not bring down civilisation as we knew it; the dire predictions of a surge in the number of refugee boats have turned out to be unfounded and the $26.8 million spent to date on re-opening the Christmas Island detention centre appears to have been wasted.
Surely, given the bushfire emergency, ongoing issues in the finance sector and the perennial challenges of climate change, the government has more important things to be doing right now than this?