White House Pretending To Listen

The White House invites people to submit petitions.  A group seeking the legalization of marijuana takes them up on it.  Their petition is far and away the most popular one submitted.

In response, the White House ducks, dodges, and, frankly, lies by misdirection.  They say they want to make science-based decisions, which is a great standard to strive for.  But then they use bad science at best.

Why even bother acting like you want our opinion?  If the goal is to make it feel like we’re being heard when you have no intention of playing fair or listening, then you’re not only dishonest but you’re treating your constituency like we’re idiots.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Russell P.

    It’s always a good idea to consider the cost of soliciting opinions, especially if you commit yourself pandering to multiple masters.

  • Paul Hunter

    Thank you for your input, but understand we already know what’s best for you!

    WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol.

    WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: Remove Marijuana from the Schedule 1 list of drugs in the Controlled Substances Act

    WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: Legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana

    WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: Edit the Pledge of Allegiance to remove the phrase “Under God”.

    The latest US population is 312,520,000 (note rounded to five places).

    Simple arithmetic will give the largest percentage who actually signed.

    [(74,169) / (312,520,000)] * 100 % = 0.24 %

    The reason for the nonresponses should be obvious.


    Guess what?

    Promote / Enforce the teaching of Evolution over Creationism
    TO REACH GOAL OF 5,000 0

    • Jessica M.

      I think the percentage is larger because according to Wiki’s source (US Population Clock), this population number also includes minors, people without internet access, comatose hospital patients, and the mentally disabled. There are other “population universes,” though.

  • Richard

    Ya know, the response really made me sad. I wasn’t really holding out hope that our current leadership gave two shits about the secular groups, but still, doesn’t feel good to be stomped on.

  • procrastinator will get an avatar real soon now

    The WH site is a pain in the ass to use. To view the petitions you view the first 8 and then click a more button which adds 8 more titles. If you want to see the content of one of them you select it and read. Then to see more petitions you have to start off at the first 8 again and add and add and add … No index available. Very poorly done.

    • anatman

      it’s a little better if you open the petitions you are interested in in a new tab. that way you can just go through the (stupidly designed) list just once then look at the interesting ones. honestly people, effective and user friendly site design is solved problem. you wouldn’t know it looking at most government pages. i, for example, regularly use the va medical pages and i just as regularly get lost or need multiple tries to accomplish my goals. and i have been working with computers since the days when you entered programs one bit at a time through the front panel. sorry for the minirant. hot button.

  • neatospiderplant
    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

      Yup, that’s gonna work…

    • Pteryxx

      Things like that recursively-ironic petition restore my faith in Internet humanity.