December 19, 2012
Cat
Please, think of the kitties. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

First they came for Texas, and I said, “Eh, sure, why not. I can always get a passport if I need to visit.”

Then they suggested we build a Death Star, and I was still for it, with a few reservations. 

But now they are coming for punctuation and “cat girls” — and, well, enough is enough.

These White House petitions are getting out of hand. 

Here are just a few examples of what we are trying to get our government to do for us.

  • Drop Anna Wintour from the list of possible ambassadors to the United Kingdom or France.”
  • “Not allow the FDA to regulate premium cigars.”
  • Impeach President Obama (“Obama disrespects our Constitution calling it flawed and trying to change it even after taking this oath: ‘I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.’ “)
  • And, most importantly: Transfer funds from the drug war to fund the research and development of the genetic engineering of domestic cat girls. (“We believe that the genetic engineering of cat girls could be potentially beneficial for the economy and an effective for use as domestic house servant. The money being used to fight the drug war is effectively pointless. We could be using this money to fund other much more important things such as the genetic engineering of cat girls for domestic use. The government could then sell these genetic household workers to boost the economy and try to further decrease the national debt. They could be used around the house so that the homeowners could pursue jobs to also boost the economy.”)

They say that if you want to know someone, you must learn his wants. And our wants are oddly specific and erratically punctuated. Our petitions, ourselves. 

Asking people for things in an irate and occasionally misspelled manner is a long-standing American tradition. In the time of Lincoln, the White House was often packed with office-seekers and petitioners, people with particular chips on their shoulders who demanded that their sons be made postmasters and MADE POSTMASTERS NOW. And that was before the Internet, when you actually had to trek to Washington — or, at the very least, write a letter — in order to further your bizarre agendas. Now all you have to do is click, and the countryside will be over-run with Death Stars and cool sunglasses emoticons.

I understand that this is the time of year for these things. Santa is on the receiving end of a lot of peculiar petitions. We want ponies. We want iPods Mini. We want cat girls. Why should the White House be any different?

But, seriously? We need to cool it a little. Many of these petitions — the Death Star, for one; the efforts at secession, for another — have crossed the threshold of legitimacy to require a White House response. 

Look, I believe in the right to petition peaceably for redress of grievances, just as much as I hate having soldiers quartered in my house — but this cannot quite be what the Founders had in mind. 

I’m not saying stop. Just show a little restraint. It’s all fun and games until a Death Star destroys Houston. 

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.