If the first myth aboout Texas secession is that, well… we can succeed, the second urban legend might be that the White House was supposed to issue a response to the Texas secession petition on its website, We The People, by December 9.
In fact, that was just the last day the petition could be signed, and the day it had to meet the required threshold of 25,000 signatures–though that had happened almost instantly. The final tally was 119,473 names.
On Monday, ABC News’ Sarah Parnass wrote a post headlined, “Texas Secession Petition Ignored by White House,” reporting that “the White House said they had no prediction for when they might put out a statement.
“Even if the White House steps up to the plate this week, it’s possible they will dodge the question, opting to excuse themselves by claiming it does not fall within their jurisdiction,” Parnass wrote.
Strictly speaking, if that were to be the case, the petition could have been deleted from the We The People site ages ago, as its Terms of Participation ban “petitions that do not address the current or potential actions or policies of the federal government.”
“Potential” would be the word to keep in mind about secession (unlike the petition to remove Jerry Jones from the Cowboys, which was definitely not the business of the federal government).
Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Morning News made all of this quite clear on November 14, when he wrote that a White House official used the phrase “up in the air” more than once with regards to the timing and substance of any potential response.
ABC’s Parnass later updated her post to note that the We The People site never promises a particular time frame for responses, writing that “a source at the White House points out many petitions have received responses well after the 30-day deadline” (which, again, is not actually