My favorites were the petition for a Death Star and a petition to stop petitions…
It’s not all laughs for the White House staffers who deal with petitions demanding Obama build a Death Star or create a Joe Biden reality TV show, but they don’t mind.
As White House officials were busy pondering new gun violence prevention measures, preparing for the coming debt ceiling showdown with Republicans, and meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the Obama administration on January 11 also issued an official decision: the US government would not construct the DS-1 Orbital Battle Station, commonly known as the Death Star from Star Wars Episode IV.
This was no joke. Well, almost no joke. “The Administration does not support blowing up planets,” the official White House statement read. “Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?” The response also address the dubious claim that such a large-scale federal undertaking would be a tremendous boon for the American economy. (The Galactic Empire has since issued a press release mocking the Obama administration for its decision.)
This official declaration was compelled by the White House’s own rules. Under its We the People initiative, anybody with internet access can petition the White House on any matter, and if a petition gains 25,000 signatures, the president—or his people—have to respond. Well, that’s how it worked until Tuesday. After being hit by all sorts of, shall we say, nonserious petitions like the Death Star one that reached the 25,000-signature benchmark, the White House has raised the bar. From now on, a petition will require 100,000 signatures in order to win White House attention. (When WTP debuted, the threshold was a measly 5,000.) But that fix may still not block the frivolous—the Death Star request drew over 34,000 signatures, and other ludicrous posts have managed to surpass the 100,000 mark—and some White House officials connected to the We the People project say (on background, of course), What were we thinking?
- “My God, What Have We Done?”: White House Staffers React to Insane Online Petitions (motherjones.com)
- Internet Petitions White House to Build a Death Star (techninety.me)
- Death Star petition on White House site (bigpondnews.com)
- Will Obama build a Death Star next? (wnd.com)