White House quadruples number of signatures needed to respond to a petition

posted at 12:31 pm on January 16, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Sure, they want to listen to “We the People,” but maybe not so often. The site doesn’t amount to much more than an occasional earned-media tool that occasionally earns a non-answer from the White House, but earned media and public shaming can occasionally be helpful, as in the case of this petition which asks the Senate to pass a budget.

But don’t worry. The fact that the most “engaged” White House in history doesn’t want to be overburdened with engaging with you is a measure of great success for— who else?— the White House!

When we launched We the People, none of us knew how popular it would be, but it’s exceeded our wildest expectations. Through the past year, interest in We the People exploded and we’re closing in on 10 million signatures.

When we first raised the threshold — from 5,000 to 25,000 — we called it “a good problem to have.” Turns out that “good problem” is only getting better, so we’re making another adjustment to ensure we’re able to continue to give the most popular ideas the time they deserve.

Starting today, as we move into a second term, petitions must receive 100,000 signatures in 30 days in order to receive an official response from the Obama Administration. This new threshold applies only to petitions created from this point forward and is not retroactively applied to ones that already exist.

In the last two months of 2012, use of We the People more than doubled. In just that time roughly 2.4 million new users joined the system, 73,000 petitions were created and 4.9 million signatures were registered.

The White House says the new rule only applies to petitions created from here on out. Ones already in existence will only need 25,000 signatures.

But it’s not like those with 25K signatures got a response, anyway. There are some 40+ petitions that, according to the administration’s own rule, require response but have not gotten them. Presumably the president’s staff was focused on prioritizing the Death Star issue.

In the end, We the People petitions are an apt metaphor for Obama’s campaigns and presidency— flashy presentation and the illusion of unprecedented engagement that ends up revealing itself to be an utter farce governed by the Harvard boys’ club. But thanks, little people!

Speaking of metaphors, “Purple Tunnel of Doom survivors try their inaugural luck a second time” Some of the thousands of Obama supporters, workers, and volunteers who missed all of Inauguration in 2008 because their candidate’s executive skill didn’t extend to preventing them from being trapped in a sub-freezing tunnel with no water or bathrooms for 15 hours are coming back to try it again!

Back in the tunnel, when it became clear that those who had remained inside would miss Obama’s speech, the mood deteriorated from celebratory to despondent–and tense.

“Lord of the Flies really is the best way to describe it,” said Matt Ortega, a Democratic National Committee staffer with a purple ticket who arrived at 5:30 AM. “It’s still frustrating because two years of my life had culminated at that moment and for me. I love history, and to feel like a missed out on that part of history.”

Ortega eventually drew the same conclusion: Hopeless. He ended up watching Obama’s speech in the basement of Kelly’s Irish Times, a pub near Union Station.

Slone also left the tunnel at about the same time and listened from the radio of a military Humvee out of sight of the Mall.
Williams retreated to his apartment and watched it on television.

Evans and his niece climbed up a concrete wall and were able to spot Obama–barely–with binoculars while listening to the sound of his voice bounce off the city buildings. The president’s words were inaudible from that distance, so they listened the rest of the address in their car, which was parked nearby.

“It took me quite some time to get over this,” Evans recalled. “The disappointment was just crushing.”

Thousands of others, still down in the tunnel, missed the ceremony completely.

In the aftermath, the “survivors,” as they called themselves, banded together in search for answers. Many had traveled from across the country, spent thousands of dollars and took time off work to be there. And for what? Incensed purple ticket holders wrote their members of Congress and directed their ire at California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who led the committee that planned the inauguration. Membership of the Facebook group “Survivors of the Purple Tunnel of Doom” grew into the thousands. All told, an estimated 4,000 people with tickets had been shut out of the Inaugural ceremonies that day.

An official review of security measures on the day of the Inauguration blamed the problems on “flaws and shortcomings in the planning process.”

Hey, they signed up for four more years. Why not 10 more hours in a freezing Interstate tunnel? He’s worth it.

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White House to Americans…BLOW ME!

KOOLAID2 on January 16, 2013 at 12:33 PM

About as well thought-through a project as Obama’s budget…oh, wait.

Good Lt on January 16, 2013 at 12:34 PM

…a majority of Americans and the Politburo…let me get my knee pads!

KOOLAID2 on January 16, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Live under the laws you pass.

YOU, the creatures in the WH, go on Obama’care’, then the populace will watch how it works.

It should get multi-million signatures, if the people are not sheeple.

Same goes for congress, with zero exceptions.

Schadenfreude on January 16, 2013 at 12:35 PM

High-capacity petitions should be banned.

The Rogue Tomato on January 16, 2013 at 12:35 PM

The upside is that liberals won’t be easily considered, either. They rarely have the numbers to match us, anyway, so they lose bigger.

Yup, you libs! Keep waitin’ in that line for your Obamamoney!

I’m laughing my azz off!

Liam on January 16, 2013 at 12:38 PM

That Death Star thing…was just tooo easy.

How about this White House maybe sticking to the original layout according to the US Constitution and not trying to play all cutsie and crap like governance was something akin to American Idol or Dancing With the Stars.

The sheer idiocracy of it all.

coldwarrior on January 16, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Starting today, as we move into a second term, petitions must receive 100,000 signatures in 30 days in order to receive an official response from the Obama Administration.

Keep moving those goalposts li’l bammie…tyrants always do…

“Tranparency”….Hilarious.

Tim_CA on January 16, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Sure, they want to listen to “We the People,” but maybe not so often.

Barry’s admin only wants to listen to “We the People” in its praise, adoration and uplifting hymns and odes of joy dedicated to Our Messiah, the Imperial President. Complaints and concerns about what Barry’s doing to us…..not so much. At all.

hawkeye54 on January 16, 2013 at 12:39 PM

A White House petition: Make ‘em sputter: Common-sense Media Control.

Because the MSM need an object lesson in freedom.

PersonFromPorlock on January 16, 2013 at 12:40 PM

White House to Americans…BLOW ME!

KOOLAID2 on January 16, 2013 at 12:33 PM

American people, circa 2015: *smack* Yes we can!

Archivarix on January 16, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Wasn’t this type of thing covered decades ago with the Charlie Brown cartoon’s and Lucy holding the football?

right2bright on January 16, 2013 at 12:41 PM

** O/T ** -

“Preezy of the United Steezy” Barack Hussein Obama just issued Twenty-Three (yup — 23) Executive Orders on ‘Gun Control’. According to The Guardian that is:

Obama executive actions to reduce gun violence – in summary.

President Obama released 23 executive actions in an attempt to reduce gun violence in the wake of the Newtown shooting:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper
training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

No EO gun/ammunition literal grab attempt. Not yet.

SD Tom on January 16, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Who cares? It’s not as if the petitions are anything more than opportunities for scoring political points. Obama cherry picks and ignores the rest anyway.

NavyMustang on January 16, 2013 at 12:44 PM

There’s a good one going right now regarding making the White House a gun-free zone. Just needs a few more signatures to put it over the threshold.

jdpaz on January 16, 2013 at 12:44 PM

bwahahaha

RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.”

That Alinsky guy was a funny fellow wasn’t he?

DanMan on January 16, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Wow. I had a four letter reactions this for a moment, lol. My petition – wh.gov/UazQ – just managed to reach the 25,000 signature threshold before the increase.

ZachV on January 16, 2013 at 12:48 PM

RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.”

That Alinsky guy was a funny fellow wasn’t he?

DanMan on January 16, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Problem: Democrats do not have rules, or any book thereof.

Archivarix on January 16, 2013 at 12:54 PM

SIGNATURE THRESHOLD!!

After Death Star and deportation petitions, White House raises signature threshold to 100,000 – @verge

7 mins ago from http://www.theverge.com by editor
==============================================

Steve Miller Band – Threshold/Jet Airliner
******************************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuMi0rO2E-s

canopfor on January 16, 2013 at 1:06 AM

canopfor on January 16, 2013 at 12:57 PM

ZachV on January 16, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Well, Riley C, congratulations.

Even though your petition is as asinine as every other attempt since the 1970′s to change the USA’s measurement system to that of the Eurotrash.

Why can’t we be America? Why can’t we be independent of Europe and the King and the shackles that we fought so hard to rid ourselves of? Why can’t we be exceptional in any way, ZachV Riley C? Why is that wrong?

What’s your next petition — that all Americans be forced to drive on the Left side of the road too?

 

*spitooey*         *tINg*

SD Tom on January 16, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Because, and let me be clear about this, when the rabble outside the castle is making so much noise you can hear them over the noise of my signing pen, the answer is thicker glass in the windows, as I have always said.

Lily on January 16, 2013 at 1:00 PM

So why exactly do petitions require ID verification and not votes?

Limerick on January 16, 2013 at 1:02 PM

SD Tom on January 16, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Kabuki / feel good theatre. Not one of those would have prevented the Newtown massacre.

Mitoch55 on January 16, 2013 at 1:03 PM

White House to Americans…BLOW ME!

KOOLAID2 on January 16, 2013 at 12:33 PM

That’s pretty much my response back to the White House.

TulsAmerican on January 16, 2013 at 1:05 PM

What do you expect from a narcissistic, totalitarian, marxist, dictatorship that, in truth, despises all of us….. conservatives and liberals.

ultracon on January 16, 2013 at 1:07 PM

What do you expect from a narcissistic, totalitarian, marxist, dictatorship that, in truth, despises all of us….. conservatives and liberals.

ultracon on January 16, 2013 at 1:07 PM

What I tend to think is that Obama hates Conservatives because they oppose him, and he hates liberals because they’re always such squishy candy asses.

Liam on January 16, 2013 at 1:11 PM

I would not go on any .gov site. They have way way enough information on our home and don’t want to give them more. At any rate, the wh won’t do squat for any petition, just get a list for those who might ‘give funds’ to bho?
L

letget on January 16, 2013 at 1:14 PM

The White House recently responded to a petition on their “We The People” website regarding the issue of Texas independence. Below is the official response from the Texas Nationalist Movement.

Rebar on January 16, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Petitioning the government used to be an important form of expression in the Soviet Union, too.

secant on January 16, 2013 at 1:22 PM

In the end, We the People petitions are an apt metaphor for Obama’s campaigns and presidency — flashy presentation and the illusion of unprecedented engagement that ends up revealing itself to be an utter farce governed by the Harvard boys’ club. But thanks, little people!

WOWser. Quite impressive, pontificating prose, and further evidence why MKH makes the big bucks.

locomotivebreath1901 on January 16, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Precedent.

The real winner last Nov. 6th was Big Media.

The arrogant narcissistic WH and their cronies are shredding standing precedents daily- those which the leftist media would attack a Repub president (read Bush)for. The Ocommie people have neutered the ability of the media to be honestly critical of any succeeding Administration since it has left alone and allowed Executive power to go unquestioned by our Monarch Barrack Hussein I.

If this country ever elects an R president again, the media will have some splainin to do when they return to their propagandist ways.

FlaMurph on January 16, 2013 at 1:28 PM

So 100K is the number it takes to redress and install a new government.

Speakup on January 16, 2013 at 1:32 PM

So 100K is the number it takes to redress and install a new government.

Maybe. At this moment. By 3PM EST it could be 500K.

hawkeye54 on January 16, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Perhaps another impeachable offense here in that the right to petition the government is now more difficult to achieve.

redware on January 16, 2013 at 2:27 PM

I suspect the real purpose behind the site is to provide grist for their Big Data voter information database.

They are also mining data from users of the Presidential Inaugural Smartphone App.

Both generously supported by your tax dollars!

LagunaDave on January 16, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Elections have consequences. If you were so damned stupid the first time – and still voted for him again – you deserve a second shafting.

GarandFan on January 16, 2013 at 2:33 PM

I’m bothered by the WH’s premise that people must petition them for any change and THEY hold the keys to fixing the people’s problems and soothing their woes. They are the arbiters of what is important and the sole agents of change. Forget about the other two branches; they don’t matter. Only the executive has the real power (in their minds).

Subtle twist of changing our democratic republic to something else….

conservative pilgrim on January 16, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Elections have consequences. If you were so damned stupid the first time – and still voted for him again – you deserve a second shafting.

GarandFan on January 16, 2013 at 2:33 PM

I didn’t vote for him, yet I have to suffer because of the imbeciles and the RINOs. Thanks Beltway aristocrats and the low-information voters.

conservative pilgrim on January 16, 2013 at 2:45 PM

As an old USSR time joke went:

“Do not write us, we do know your opinion”.

History repeats itself.

riddick on January 16, 2013 at 2:52 PM

It would seem that the “petition” process was someone’s bright progressive idea to “empower the people” to correct things that would serve progressive goals. Surely when the little people petition the government it will be for inconsequential things that, if it accrues credit to the administration, might get some effective action, else it can be ignored or brushed off. If it becomes a problem and it would be politically embarassing to drop the whole thing, just increase the threshold where a response is needed. That will do it.

Besides if some movement did come about that could meet most any “resonable” threshold then the tradeoffs between political embarrassment for dropping the process or having petitions that nominally needed a answer would be traded off against each other and the least disadvantageous decision made.

Russ808 on January 16, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Flash October 2016
The White House today revealed its new executive order requiring a quadrupling of the number of electoral votes to unseat any president or politician, except in the House of Representative, where a voice vote among the president White House Press corps will prevail over any number of ballots.
John Boehner, fighting back tears said that he would be willing to negotiate wit Joe Biden and……

Don L on January 16, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Elections have consequences. If you were so damned stupid the first time – and still voted for him again – you deserve a second shafting.

GarandFan on January 16, 2013 at 2:33 PM

I didn’t vote for him, yet I have to suffer because of the imbeciles and the RINOs. Thanks Beltway aristocrats and the low-information voters.

conservative pilgrim on January 16, 2013 at 2:45 PM

I agree, except a vote for the GOP is just a proxy vote for the Marxist de jour anyways.

Don L on January 16, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Years ago they petitioned with pitchforks and torches lit….at least at the Frankenstein castle. True story–I saw the movie with my own eyes.

Don L on January 16, 2013 at 3:21 PM

*spitooey* *tINg*

SD Tom on January 16, 2013 at 12:57 PM

I don’t know Tom, let’s think about this. Libs are know for being vexed by numbers and math. Give ‘em answers in metric and watch their heads explode. “What time is it?”, “9.99, another minute to lunch.”

DanMan on January 16, 2013 at 3:49 PM

I love that you have to give the donation vampires an email address to vote.

I’m “Charles the Wonder Llama”, if anyone cares. A throw-away account.

Enjoy, tools.

mojo on January 16, 2013 at 6:04 PM