On April 29, I was disgusted (though not surprised) to read that a Republican Congressional Representative wanted to do away with using peer-review to determine National Science Foundation funding of projects. So, I started a White House petition and asked people to sign it.
Even though I publicized it as I had an earlier petition, I got almost no response. So, I wrote to the petition site.
To: White House Petition Site:
I'm sad that this petition site seems to be going the way of many other Obama policies - it's a good idea, it's talked about and then it's ignored.
Several of us started petitions about the Westboro Baptist Church last year. Mine was the request to investigate its tax exempt status. I got the then-required 25,000 signatures in a couple of days. The petition is still up and has over 96,000 signatures.
No response from the administration.
With the later increase to 100,000 signatures, people clearly see that starting a petition here is a waste of time. I started a petition about the fact that a Republican Congressional representative is trying to do away with peer-review for NSF grants. I have many friends into science, and publicized this petition the same way I had the Westboro Baptist Church petition.
I've gotten almost no response. After 2 days, I'm up to 29 signatures.
This is sad, but, clearly, people don't want to waste their time with petitions that the administration will then completely ignore.
It's true we got very used to being lied to during the Bush administration. It's sad the Obama administration seems to be going in the same direction. If you have to lie about the little things (and, I know, the petition site is a "little thing"), how can we trust you about the big things?