Which means, on a practical level, that it’s now four times as hard to get the White House to formally and officially shoot down your damfool idea.
The White House announced Wednesday that it was quadrupling the number of signatures required to receive an official response to a petition on its “We the People” website.
“Starting today, as we move into a second term, petitions must receive 100,000 signatures in 30 days in order to receive an official response from the Obama Administration,” White House director of digital strategy Macon Phillips wrote in a blog post. “This new threshold applies only to petitions created from this point forward and is not retroactively applied to ones that already exist.”
Sorry if I’m cynical about this, but then the only legitimate purpose that I can see for these things is to poke the Obama administration with a pointy stick on, say, legalizing marijuana. Or closing Gitmo. Or drone strikes. Or anything else that the President does that broke a campaign promise, although admittedly a list of that is admittedly a bit more extensive than I first contemplated. Anyway, if you think that Barack Obama is actually going to take any of these petitions seriously, well. Please don’t operate heavy machinery.