You’ll Need 100K Signatures to Get Your AT-AT Petition Into the White House

It was big news last weekend: The White House responded to a petition requesting a real-life Death Star space ship. Of course, they replied, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?” (paraphrased). But they still replied, and that was pretty cool.

The Death Star petition went through the We The People page on the White House website, which required 25,000 signatures to have a petition considered. It is a pretty cool idea—that you can legitimately have a petition considered simply by collecting enough signatures.

However, the Death Star petition was the end of an era for We The People. Apparently the White House has been so flooded by petitions at the 25,000 signature level that they’ve had to raise the minimum to 100,000 John Hancocks. cites that in the last few weeks, the White House has also responded to petitions to secede from the union and to deport Piers Morgan.

“When we launched We the People, none of us knew how popular it would be, but it’s exceeded our wildest expectations,” writes Macon Phillips, the White House director of digital strategy. “Through the past year, interest in We the People exploded and we’re closing in on 10 million signatures. When we first raised the threshold [in 2011] — from 5,000 to 25,000 — we called it ‘a good problem to have.’

What do you think of the We The People petition campaign? If you could get 100,000 signatures for the White House, what would you petition for? A real-life AT-AT Walker?


Also read— Bad News: the White House Will Not Be Building a Death Star

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  1. wellokaythen says:

    The White House has never been under any obligation to read any petitions from anybody, especially under a lame duck presidency. The first amendment guarantees your right to petition the government, but it doesn’t require that the government actually listen. If you don’t think a sitting POTUS is listening well enough to you, you’ll just have to vote for someone else when he runs for re-election. Oops, too late….

  2. Kirsten (in MT) says:

    For those who think 25K is too low a threshold, please then explain to me why none of these people are required to get 25K or 100K signatures before THEY get the Obama administration’s attention and response: Are those who can buy influence more worthy of attention than those of us who aren’t rich and well-connected?

  3. Kirsten (in MT) says:

    I suspect jacking up the requirement unreasonably high had more to do with several embarrassing (for the White House) petitions calling out the Obama DoJ in the extreme prosecutorial abuse exercised in the case of Aaron Swartz, who recently committed suicide and whose partner and family believe the extremely abusive overcharging of his alleged crime helped push him to his death.

    If you look at the open petitions right now, precisely ONE of them actually meets the new requirement. The second most popular petition didn’t even reach 80K signatures, and its deadline expired yesterday. The new 100K threshold isn’t retroactive, of course, but you can kind of see how it will all but kill the entire dog and pony show and help the Obama administration backpedal out of even this totally negligible bit of accountability.

    Fortunately, we have started a petition to drop the response threshold for petitions back to 25,000 signatories:

  4. well, 25k was a bit low
    50 or 100k makes more sense in terms of warranting a considered response from the white house

  5. wellokaythen says:

    Well, that’s one way to minimize casualties from IED’s — ride above the blast.

    The U.S. military has enough problems with overpriced, poorly designed hardware manufactured by the lowest bidder and then sent into combat situations for which it is ill-suited. It’s bad enough that our current body armor may not be much better than that useless stormtrooper armor, which can’t even protect the wearer from sticks and stones.

    Let’s hope the U.S. military has much better strategic and tactical sense than the Imperial forces. (Doesn’t anyone realize how pointless it is to use slow-moving, top-heavy transport on ice? Doesn’t anyone see how stupid it was to deploy high-speed, hard to turn vehicles in the middle of a dense forest? Am I the only one who sees how stupid the Imperial military was?) Palpatine and his henchmen deserved to lose. Their best battalion couldn’t beat a few squads of stone age teddy bears. Sure, build like the Empire, if you want to LOSE.

    The problem isn’t just that the AT-AT is worthless. The problem is that the Pentagon would pay $500 for a toilet seat inside it.

    The really laughable part is the part where anyone thinks the American people have any influence over what the U.S. military develops and pays for……

  6. Death Star then At-AT? No we start with baby steps.

    Let’s get some smaller droids (like R2 and 3PO).

    Then some larger machines like land speeders.

    Then starfighters like TIE FIghters and X-Wings.

    Then larger star ships like Slave 1 and Millenium Falcon.

    Star Destroyers….

    Super Star Destroyers…

    And THEN try to make a Death Star.

    Build our way up to it.

    But by all that is holy, no lightsabers. Trust me, we are all much safer if lightsabers do not exist.

  7. Hehe. Looks like the White House found out there are more crackpots online than they suspected.

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