Finally, on Tuesday, the State Department said it will accept assistance from some of the 27 countries and six international organizations that have offered to combat the spill.
It was a grudging acceptance -- fewer than half the offers will be taken up -- and that's a curious reluctance from a president who allegedly wants to make international cooperation his hallmark.
Not to mention someone who professed such fury about the oil spill that he was trying to figure out "whose ass to kick."
Or maybe not so curious.
As Winston Groom notes in The Weekly Standard, everything the White House has done since the outset seems to have been part of an effort to avoid direct responsibility for fixing things.
That would explain why federal agencies have placed huge regulatory roadblocks before those who want to get right to it and clean up the oil -- and why BP has been made responsible for cleaning up the mess with a minimum of government involvement.
That is to say, there will be no oily fingerprints on this president.
And then, of course, there's politics.
Specifically, the Jones Act -- a protectionist section of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 requiring that all goods transported by water between US ports be carried on US-flagged ships, built in the US and owned and crewed by US citizens.
The Bush administration temporarily waived the law, a favorite of the unions, to provide assistance after Hurricane Katrina -- but this president refused to do the same to assist in the Gulf cleanup.
Now that's changed, and to the good.
But while it remains that BP is ultimately responsible for the spill, it's also true that the mess is now much worse than it needed to be -- and blame for that resides solely in the White House. (Full Story)