Obama Administration

White House Petition Process Another Obama Open Government Failure

Petitions meeting the White House's threshold for response go unanswered


"Open" is a four-letter word

As J.D. Tuccille noted Monday, dozens of petitions have appeared on the White House website requesting various states be allowed to secede.

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.

NEXT: Fewer Republicans Sign Norquist's Pledge

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  1. They won’t really get anywhere until state legislatures and governors begin publically discussing the issue.

    1. When the Alaska Independence Party won the Governorship, the Governor refused to bring the issue to a vote. There’s very little willingness to bring up such a controversial topic among the elected.

      1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A…..ence_Party

        At least, so Wikipedia claims.

  2. The White House isn’t even responding to many of them that have met their 25,000 signature threshold.

    No goddamn shit. They’re also not posting legislation online for public review and comment before signing, they’re not deprioritizing drug enforcement in marijuana-legal states, and they’re not closing GITMO. This is actually pretty low on the list of promises this White House isn’t keeping.

    1. In 30 or 40 years, liberal (in the proper sense) historians are going to look back and wonder why the people just accepted everything.

      1. They won’t wonder, they’ll just accept it.

        1. That’s what I’m afraid of.

  3. I want to avoid seeming the prejudiced libertarian and give Obama a fair chance, but he’s loosing the last shreds of potential respect these last few weeks.

    1. Fuck me, Dok, but have you been in a coma the last four years? Obama ran through his “fair chance” sometime in 2009, by my reckoning.

  4. This is the guy that has literally done nothing he said (except for sorta one or two limp-wristed things), and in many cases done the polar fucking opposite. And no one calls him on it, EVER. Why would he respond to a petition? Here is the response to your petition: fuck you.

    1. He pretends to pretend to listen to these idiots, and they pretend to believe in him. THE CIRCLE OF LIFE.

      1. Actually, I guess they really do believe in him. This is why we’re fucked.

  5. The White House isn’t even responding to many of them

    This really surprises ANYONE considering Obama’s (non)voting record as a senator?

    The market of American voters wants, no, DEMANDS lip service and symbolic gestures. Finally a POTUS is giving them exactly what they want.

    1. Francisco D’Anconia doesn’t seem to be around this thread yet, to I’ll answer for him:

      “Brother, you asked for it!”

  6. Sounds like a pretty good plan to me dude. Wow.


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