Change.gov Round 2: Ask Obama stupid questions, get stock responses
Barack Obama's change dot gov has released their responses for the second round of their scam where they encouraged people to submit and vote for questions that Obama would answer (change.gov/newsroom/entry/open_for_questions_round_2_response). As with other popular voting systems, it was designed to fail, with weak questions being voted up while tough questions (such as the ones I submitted) languishing or being voted down (my vote totals at that link).
What might have worked is if people had submitted only a small number of very tough questions and voted those up. Instead, dozens or hundreds of questions on one topic were submitted, with the weakest rising to the top. And, in at least one case, they selected a lower-ranked question than one that they apparently didn't want to answer. While they've redirected change.gov/openforquestions to the response link above, you can see the voting as it was at change.gov/page/content/openforquestions20081229
This time around, they've divided the answers into two parts: top-ranked questions that they already answered, and a video containing their answers to new, supposedly top-ranked questions that they hadn't already answered. Except, they'd already answered those too.
The video (link) consists of future White House press secretary Robert Gibbs answering a series of very weak questions, all of which - surprise! - are related to policies that Obama is pushing. For instance, here's the first one he answers:
What strategies other than bailouts can we employ to keep jobs in America?
Gibbs says that's a very good question, and it is: for him. Because, it allows him to simply launch into a commercial for Obama's stimulus scheme.
Note that the question above came in fourth in the Economy category, right behind this slightly tougher, unanswered question:
Will President Obama, work to remove tax incentives for US corporations, who move their operations over seas?
In the National Security category, a War on Drugs question was at #1; it was a bad question, but they didn't answer it.
The other questions Gibbs answers all give him a chance to launch into stock speeches, including those about No Child Left Behind, transit, universal healthcare, and science. The one about science is incredibly weak; tougher questions were asked in Politburo debates:
How will the Obama administration encourage the future generations of Americans to become the world's leading scientists and engineers?
As Gibbs describes, Obama has a plan! Gibbs even references the fact that he's heard Obama give answers to these issues on the campaign trail.
The only slight news on the video is a question about whether they'll repeal Dont Ask Dont Tell, which Gibbs answers with one word: "yes". Of course, we already knew that: in April 2008, Obama said he'd get rid of it, even if he hedged a bit on the timing in September of that year. Why ask Obama a question he's already answered?
The other section is entitled "Previously Addressed Questions", and that's where they relegate gems such as this from Bob Fertik of democrats.com:
Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor (ideally Patrick Fitzgerald) to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?
They answer with previous quotes from Obama which basically boil down to him hemming and hawing about him looking into the issue. The answer about a Palestinian state is more hemming and hawing; on January 20th we'll hear his thoughts on the matter.
And, the potheads are out of luck again: Obama responds to their latest attempt with the answer he gave them before that he won't legalize marijuana.
The bottom line is that "Open for Questions" was a scam, and you should look very closely at all those who submitted and promoted weak questions. They either knew they were participating in a setup, or they couldn't figure that out. Either way, they aren't doing you or the U.S. much of a service.