In a move that I am sure was inspired by too many petitions calling for Death Stars and such, the White House’s online petition site We the People has raised the threshold for getting an official response from the Obama Administration from 25,000 signatures to 100,000 signatures. At the time of this writing, only one out of the 273 petitions on the site has hit this mark – a petition with well over 300,000 signatures calling for the Westboro Baptist Church to be officially designated as a hate group. This makes sense, because anybody with a soul would support that.
Ultimately, I think this move is justified; the White House has had to pen 96 responses to petitions so far, including the really ridiculous ones. For example, one asks for Obama’s impeachment for four reasons that are basically just completely false. The White House responded as such, and in a very civil manner at that. Now, this change does not mean that the White House won’t be monitoring all the petitions that are put up, but hopefully it means that they will be able to dedicate much more time to organizing and creating effective responses to the petitions that actually cross the 100,000 signature threshold.
Sure enough, there is also a petition to lower the threshold back down to 25,000. Read the White House’s official justification after the break. In the mean time, check out Obama’s direct response to the WTP petition concerning gun violence below. No matter where you stand on the issue, it is nice to know that this website is actually paid attention to.