Obama is running for re-election now, so it’s time to drum up his populist support. To that end, his staff have launched a site called We the People, which allows the public to submit petitions online. If any get over 5,000 signatures, they’ll be forwarded to the President for an “official response”, which I’m guessing means they’ll stimulate the economy as discount toilet paper.
(Actually, I suspect the purpose is to get mailing lists, as you need an official Whitehouse.gov account to sign.)
Anyway, someone at the White House is clearly not familiar with this whole internet thing. You can get 5000 people to sign up for anything. I guarantee I could get 5000 signatures asking the President to wear a cheerleader outfit at press conferences. And that would probably have a greater likelihood of happening than what’s leading the pack:
Days into its launch, there are already eight petitions that will warrant a response from the White House per its own rules. The site appears to have attracted civil libertarians, pro-marijuana advocates, and atheists. The most popular petition with almost 20,000 signatures petitions the gov to “Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol.” The petitioner writes: “Marijuana prohibition has resulted in the arrest of over 20 million Americans since 1965, countless lives ruined and hundreds of billions of tax dollars squandered and yet this policy has still failed to achieve its stated goals of lowering use rates, limiting the drug’s access, and creating safer communities. Isn’t it time to legalize and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol?”
A petition created yesterday calling for the abolition of the TSA has already garnered over 7,000 signatures.
Those numbers are now up to 37,000 and 21,000. And this understates the case. Four more petitions on marijuana have over 10,000 votes each. Also trending high is the Sholom Rubashkin case, removing “Under God” from the pledge and ending software patents.
As I said, the President would ignore this anyway. But he’ll doubly ignore it now that pot is leading the charge. This President is turning out to be a major drug warrior and, considering his own history, a first class hypocrite. He’s laughed when this question has come up before because apparently ruining people’s lives, raiding legal clinics and taking relief away from people dying of cancer is funny. Personally I don’t find it amusing that 90% of pot busts in NYC are of black people even when they’re not smoking 90% of the pot. But if SWAT teams busting down people’s doors makes Obama giggle, that’s his problem.
However, reading through the list makes me proud of my fellow netizens. Almost every petition can be sorted into the “Get the fuck off my lawn” category of political thought. The most popular “gimme gimme gimme!” petition is one calling for mandatory spay-and-neuter laws. I’d be fine with that if it were applied to politicians, but they apparently want to apply it to animals. Well, other animals. More ethical animals.