Green Room

Re: White House raising the threshold for website petition responses

posted at 2:03 pm on January 16, 2013 by

Per MKH’s post, in the entire time the petition website has been online, has there been a single truly newsworthy White House response? There was a flash of buzz last week when the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy replied to one of the umpteen “legalize it” petitions by acknowledging that we’re having a “national conversation about marijuana,” but so what? We are having a national conversation about marijuana. If merely recognizing that public opinion is divided on a hot-button issue is the newsiest thing to come out of this, the bar is so low that they might as well shut it down.

Usually it’s nothing but dumb gimmicks, like deporting Piers Morgan or building the Death Star, with the payoff some joyless snickering whenever the 25,000-signature threshold is crossed and the White House is forced to issue a politic, predictable, occasionally evasive reply. Again, what’s the point?

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The only point is the illusion that King Nothing listens to the pleas of the peasants and is willing to respond when enough of us cry out for his noble touch.

Red Cloud on January 16, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Obysmal is gathering personal data for his own purposes.

onlineanalyst on January 16, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Moving Goal posts for the emperor

portlandon on January 16, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Joyless chuckling over wasting Barry and his sycophants time with meaningless petitions is about all I’ve got. Unless I’m supposed to get excited about the glorious Jon Huntsman Presidency and completely sell out.

Illinidiva on January 16, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Here’s something ‘funny’ (in an Orwellian kind of way) I got back from the WH Petition Response team, I believe regarding the secession petition that I signed (with an alias) a while back.

Petition Response: Our States Remain United

By Jon Carson, Director of the Office of Public Engagement

Thank you for using the White House’s online petitions platform to participate in your government.

In a nation of 300 million people — each with their own set of deeply-held beliefs — democracy can be noisy and controversial. And that’s a good thing. Free and open debate is what makes this country work, and many people around the world risk their lives every day for the liberties we often take for granted.

But as much as we value a healthy debate, we don’t let that debate tear us apart.

Our founding fathers established the Constitution of the United States “in order to form a more perfect union” through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. They enshrined in that document the right to change our national government through the power of the ballot — a right that generations of Americans have fought to secure for all. But they did not provide a right to walk away from it. As President Abraham Lincoln explained in his first inaugural address in 1861, “in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual.” In the years that followed, more than 600,000 Americans died in a long and bloody civil war that vindicated the principle that the Constitution establishes a permanent union between the States. And shortly after the Civil War ended, the Supreme Court confirmed that “[t]he Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States.”

Although the founders established a perpetual union, they also provided for a government that is, as President Lincoln would later describe it, “of the people, by the people, and for the people” — all of the people. Participation in, and engagement with, government is the cornerstone of our democracy. And because every American who wants to participate deserves a government that is accessible and responsive, the Obama Administration has created a host of new tools and channels to connect concerned citizens with White House. In fact, one of the most exciting aspects of the We the People platform is a chance to engage directly with our most outspoken critics.

So let’s be clear: No one disputes that our country faces big challenges, and the recent election followed a vigorous debate about how they should be addressed. As President Obama said the night he won re-election, “We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future.”

Whether it’s figuring out how to strengthen our economy, reduce our deficit in a responsible way, or protect our country, we will need to work together — and hear from one another — in order to find the best way to move forward. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to learn more about the President’s ideas and share more of your own.

Tell us what you think about this response and We the People.

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Stay connected to the White House by signing up for periodic email updates from President Obama and other senior administration officials.

Harbingeing on January 16, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Inflation is a bitch.

pvolcko on January 16, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Strange email, harb. I’d say Laws are what ‘make the country work’. But I’m not surprised they’re obsessed with perpetual debate.

Steven McGregor on January 17, 2013 at 11:13 AM