The number of secession petitions have grown since Monday and have pretty much overwhelmed the Obama Administration’s “We the People” responsive government experiment (and response petitions have appeared as well). The various calls for secession now dominate the first few pages of the slightly more than 100 open petitions on the site.
But more than the secessionist trolling, which isn’t really going to go anywhere (sorry Texans!), scrolling to the end of the list reveals something more interesting: The White House isn’t even responding to many of them that have met their 25,000 signature threshold.
There are about a dozen petitions toward the end of the list that have been up there for months awaiting responses from the White House. The petitions vary in topic from genetically modified food labeling, to cigar regulations, to foreign policy issues connected to Poland, Vietnam, the Czech Republic, and Japan.
In June, I wrote about a petition to require free access to taxpayer-funded scientific research reports. The petition easily met and exceeded the White House’s threshold to earn a response by the administration. But nothing has come.
In fact, according to the site’s own “most recent responses” tab, there have only been two responses to two petitions posted since March. One of them was on a consumer legal matter, one which the White House explained they would not get involved with. The other was the White House beer recipe. And this posting is notable because the petition didn’t even meet the site’s stated threshold for White House response (the timing of the petition’s appearance is also suspiciously close to President Barack Obama’s Reddit Q&A, where he ignored many substantive questions but not one on the beer recipe).
Not all of these successful petitions are matters in which the Obama Administration can or should get involved. But the complete lack of response to petitions that have been sitting there for months shows the administration’s claims of openness to be a pure mockery, even on the little things. Does anybody expect a single one of these secession petitions to get a response (Texas has already gone way past the success threshold)? It wouldn’t be surprising if they get deleted in the dark of the night.