Donald Lambro
WASHINGTON -- Two months into the ongoing Gulf oil disaster, President Obama is still playing the political blame game instead of seeking a solution to the worst environmental catastrophe in U.S. history.

Evidence is mounting daily that BP allegedly took irresponsible "shortcuts" to save money in drilling the deep-water well, though there was plenty of blame to go around, including a breakdown among key federal agencies who oversee drilling rig safety regulations.

Yet, inexplicably, at the beginning of this week, Obama had yet to meet with the chief executive of BP. Instead, he and his chief advisers keep finger-pointing in order to keep the public focus on the British oil giant and not on the White House's inability to take charge of the Gulf coast calamity.

Rush Limbaugh

And as this week began, embarrassing new information pointed to the administration's complete impotence during this crisis.

For weeks in this column, I have questioned why the White House did not seek out worldwide assistance to combat and contain the Gulf oil leak. Then, it turns out, as The Washington Post recently reported, that 17 countries, with experience in dealing with such spills, have offered to send needed ships and oil-removal equipment into the area.

Sweden was ready and willing to send three relief vessels, each of which can remove about 15,000 gallons of oil an hour.

Japan said it would send in a much-needed supply of booms into the Gulf.

Norway volunteered to dispatch a third of its oil-spill equipment into the region. Many other nations offered similar equipment.

Yet, as I write this, these countries have not heard from our government, the Post reported.

Is the Obama administration so absorbed by its blame-game strategy that it does not see the need to immediately respond to such offers at a time when it can help reduce the size and scope of the oil-damaged shorelines, beaches, marshes and wildlife?

For more than a month, the national news media gave Obama and his administration the benefit of the doubt, and few reporters or news analysts raised questions about his unwillingness or inability to aggressively deal with this monumental crisis. That kind of reticence has faded in recent weeks, though the story is still not getting the kind of coverage it warrants.

"Whether Obama has been demonstrative enough in his public handling of the catastrophe is a legitimate question," Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson writes this week in a blistering indictment of the administration's handling of this crisis.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.