The White House petition website "We the People" long ago proved itself a predictable charade of sham accountability. But federal employees are trying their luck anyway, petitioning President Barack Obama to give them a(nother) day off on December 26. The Washington Post reports:
The petition…asks the administration to "Declare an executive order for all executive departments and agencies to be closed 12/26/2014, for a four-day weekend."
While the rest of us poor sods will be at work nursing our eggnog hangovers, the feds are hoping for a longer holiday to help them recover from a taxing year of reading our emails and taking our money. From the petition:
Federal Employees have dealt with pay freezes and furloughs over the past few years. Giving federal employees an extra holiday on Dec. 26th, 2014 would be a good gesture to improve morale of the federal workforce.
As of writing, the petition is still 60,000 signatures shy of the 100,000 threshold required for the White House to respond. The petitioners will probably get what they wish for, however, even if the minimum isn't reached in the next few weeks. Like George W. Bush, Obama has a history of giving feds time off during the holiday season.
Obama also granted a petition in 2012 asking for a government Christmas Eve holiday. And that's just one of 150-odd petitions the White House has responded to on a range of topics that deeply affect the future of our polity, such as whether to institute the metric system, how to address pet homelessness, and whether to build a Death Star.
But the administration has been reticent when it comes to petitions that, you know, address issues that matter. Like the one demanding a pardon for Edward Snowden, to which the White House has yet to respond more than a year after it reached 100,000 signatures. GMO labeling might be bunk, but a popular petition on the subject from 2012 also continues to gather cyberdust waiting for an administration response.
When there has been a response on a pressing topic, such as marijuana legalization, the White House has remained laconic and evasive. Or it just downright misleads, as when the administration responded to a petition demanding a right to opt out of Obamacare by promising, again, that "if you like your plan, you can keep it."
If you're thinking of submitting a petition a grade above beer brewing or the Lunar New Year to The Most Transparent Administration Ever, you might be better served closing your eyes tightly and just hoping for change.