Matt Continetti, writing at the Washington Free Beacon:

"Hoping to spend the week sliming Paul Ryan and screeching about the mythical Republican 'war on women,' the Democrats instead have been set back as the news cycle spun out of their control. Foreign policy, health care, and energy have forced them into a defensive crouch. No wonder I’m in such a good mood.

"David Axelrod most likely is not. He must have wished he could go back to bed on the morning of Mar. 26, when news broke of President Obama’s 'hot mic' moment at the security summit in South Korea. ABC News had caught the president telling Putin stooge Dmitri Medvedev that he needed the Russian dictator to give him 'space' on issues such as missile defense until after 'my last election,' at which time he will have 'more flexibility.' Medvedev nodded sympathetically throughout the conversation and said, in his best General Orlov imitation, 'I will transmit this information to Vladimir.' All that was missing from the ridiculous exchange were fulminations over 'moose and squirrel.'

"The president embarrassed himself. Not only did Obama give us a glimpse of his backwards statesmanship, in which 'diplomacy' involves telling a corrupt strongman that electoral concerns prevent him from further accommodation. He also reminded Republicans and independents of the high stakes in 2012. What would be the results, not a few conservatives wonder, if the president had all the 'flexibility' he desires?

"As it happened, the hot microphone mess was the least of the president’s troubles. The gaffe was still in the news when oral arguments over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act began at the Supreme Court. The first day of proceedings concerned whether the Court could rule on the law at all since the individual mandate will not be enforced until 2014. But even those arguments went poorly for the administration and its hapless solicitor general, Donald Verrilli Jr., who was unable to explain how the mandate could be a 'penalty' one day and a 'tax' the next day. "

Whole thing here.

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