What happened during the past three months was a series of political clowning and foolhardiness. Cabinet members indulged in activities to enhance their profile, engaged in combative arguments with critics with arrogance and insolence.
The sweet promises for better living and new opportunities made during the election campaigns were never delivered. Clearly in evidence was widespread suffering caused by sharp rises in oil prices and the cost of living.
The income people had has been chipped away by an inflation rate exceeding six per cent. More pain is expected during the second quarter of this year. Forget luxuries, the price of daily necessities has now risen beyond the reach of low-income folks.
There was a rare event when paddy farmers dumped their harvest on the roads in protest against low prices offered by rice millers and traders, under the excuse that the crop had high moisture content.
Many farmers could not wait due to pressure for hard cash. They eventually had to settle for the low prices offered. Government officials were too slow to act simply because they just did not know how to tackle the seasonal problems.
The pressure to get through each day is real for those on low and fixed incomes, making it very difficult to make ends meet. Belt tightening by all means possible is the only way to ensure that they can survive until the next payday.
All this time, politicians and Cabinet members have been insensitive to the suffering of the people. Beaten down repeatedly by higher retail oil prices, a possibility that it will soon become unaffordable no longer seems so remote.
Traffic in Bangkok was light during the long weekend, a far cry from the heavy jams during the brighter days. This serves as a clear indication that people are feeling the pinch and not taking the worsening situation lightly.
Still blessed with abundant food supplies as the country remains a net food exporter, the idea that many people cannot afford to buy daily meals should raise questions about government competence and why the situation was allowed to go so seriously wrong.
The failure to make people happy and causing them to feel more pessimistic about the future leads to doubts whether the Samak government can justify its existence and stay on and provide some help for those suffering from daily hardships.
Ignorance and neglect are compounding the problems. The notion that rural people view the present government as a beacon of hope and will be their saviour no longer holds water.
Household economic problems have become another weighty addition to the other controversial acts perpetrated on the part of Cabinet members, sparking off widespread discontent, so much so that a possible coup has almost become a daily talking point among politicians, with periodic comments coming from senior generals.
With wild guesses and idle talk, the coup issue may no longer be a surprise if, or when, it does take place. As more people get overburdened by all the problems, they might choose to welcome a change of government prompted by pressure from the military.
It does not have to be a coup as such, now that there is common agreement that such a putsch would lead to deterioration of the country's standing in the international community.
If we talk about straws piling up on the camel's back, there is still doubt which one will be the last? Each of them is equally crucial. The list of reasons justifying a change of government by unconventional means is getting longer.
The audacious comments of firebrand politician, Prime Minister's Office Minister Jakrapob Penkair, regarded as damaging to the country's revered institution, have provoked outrage among many people.
The flash point is expected to be an all-out attempt to amend the Constitution by the People
Power Party and its allies against repeated warnings by the People's Alliance for Democracy, academics and the Opposition,who see such a push as interest self-serving.
Still, while there may be a combination of factors pointing to a change of government, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej could avert this if he reshuffled his Cabinet, named competent and honest people to work for the public good, while putting off the Charter amendment.
That might bring to a more amiable manner the countdown to the end of his term.