The problem - for Scott Morrison - isn't that he's missed (and by a massive 3.8 million) his own predictions of where the vaccine rollout would be by today. It isn't the hopefully brief and localised lockdowns, or even the removal of JobKeeper; although those things hurt.
What really matters for the government is that all these small issues are now coming together and building on the sentiment established by the PM's earlier missteps.
The real danger the government faces today is that it's on the verge of taking the huge leap from being competent (if occasionally flawed) into being regarded as an administration that's incapable of getting anything right. The next three weeks will be critical.
When the virus began to spread just over a year ago, the country regarded Morrison sceptically. He was marked down twice as the fires burned - most seriously for ignoring the link with climate change, but also for heading off to Hawaii on holiday as the skies turned dark and the flames flew towards people huddling together on the beaches.
March was the turning point in public perceptions. Suddenly voters saw what they liked - a PM working with the states and listening to the experts to deliver good policy.
And it worked. The virus was slowed, and polling turned around. Over the ensuing year, whenever there was a problem - and there were more than a few of these - people accepted that the blame didn't lie with the government. Culpability for the mistake was placed, instead, somewhere in the complex intersection between the state and federal arenas, or in the difficulty of co-ordinating policy with execution.
This offered Morrison a valid "get out of jail free" card, and he used it freely.
People accepted his trademark style of breezing past objections and ignoring valid questions at press conferences. When officials were rolled out with titles like that of the CMO, viewers accepted unquestioningly that their decisions didn't involve political trade-offs and were based on evidence. And, as long as the policy worked, we happily accepted it as "best practice" (unlike what was happening in the US or the UK, for example).
That's changing and, if it sticks, it will quickly turn into a deadly spiral for the government.
Unless Morrison manages, very quickly, to turn around perceptions he's blustering his way through things, the mood will quickly change. Out-of-work tourist operators in Cairns might suddenly find they have a great deal in common with retrenched university tutors in Melbourne. This is a dangerous situation for a government poised so delicately and on the verge of being dismissed in the mind of the average voter as incompetent.
Once the credibility gulf is crossed, there's no way back.
There will be no rush to the polls. The inside word is an election in the latter half of the year is already off.
- Nicholas Stuart is a Canberra writer and regular columnist.