"Johnny's in the basement, mixing up the medicine/ I'm on the pavement, thinking 'bout the government." Bob Dylan wrote those lyrics 40 years ago, before BP spilled thousands of barrels of oil into the gulf.
I wasn't born 40 years ago, but I'm doing the same thing.
There seems to be a very pervasive, and perverse, understanding of the relationship between government and business. Most of the time, people think it's good for business to be the most powerful force in society. That the private sector should be the first and last court of appeals. That the invisible hand of the market is the best one to shape our lives with - until that invisible hand becomes soaked in oil.
Then the government is to blame for not controlling the private sector. But why not the company that runs the machinery and uh...owns the oil? When taxes must be paid in order for the government to serve people, it's somehow politicians' faults. But when businesses don't serve people, is that not the fault of business? Why doesn't the doesn't the blame go to the sector that committed the error?
As per whose hands are dirtiest here - the White House or BP - just ask Bobby D. "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."