Once again proving that they are hip and groovy and “down with the young people” on the interwebs, the Obama administration has officially (and hilariously) responded to an internet campaign asking the American government to begin construction on a Death Star.
Woah, OK, hold up. A bit of background first. The White House recently implemented a new policy program titled ‘We The People,’ where ordinary citizens can create online petitions related to government action. Get enough signatures on your petition (the current mark is 25,000 within 30 days), and the Obama administration promises to review your submission. As the website states, “The right to petition your government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. We the People provides a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country… If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.”
One such petition that has so far attracted almost 35,000 supporters is this one, which called on the government to “Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.” The petition fails to mention if, upon the Death Star’s construction, Obama would be required to man the bridge a la Emperor Palpatine/Darth Vader, but cites the job creation and national security benefits of the United States possessing a gigantic floating sphere of metal and destruction.
“By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense,” states the petition. Obviously a joke, but one that has today exploded into worldwide notoriety as the White House Budget Office released an official response through the Petitions.WhiteHouse.gov website.
Showing off a sharp tongue and an impressive working knowledge of the Star Wars lexicon, Paul Shawcross (Chief of the Science and Space branch at the Budget Office) outlined in detail why the Obama administration would not be pursuing the suggestion at this time.
“The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon,” Shawcross admitted, citing that “the construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000” and that “we’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.”
Other reasons against the Death Star project included “the Administration does not support blowing up planets” and “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 official response also links to other existing government technology and space projects including the International Space Station, Hubble telescope, the Mars Rover, deep-space probes, and Obama’s focus on science and technology jobs.
It’s pretty much the best thing you’ll read from any government at any point in your life. I’d like to imagine Obama, Biden, Hilary Clinton, the Joint Chiefs and the cabinet sitting around a conference table in the Situation Room, brainstorming ideas for maximum LOL effect on this one. Read the whole thing here.