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Politics n' stuff

When Fake Presidental Signatures Are Cool

There are reasons we need a President, and reasons we need that President’s signature. Documents of weight on matters regarding political significance seem to be clear cut examples of when in person appearances must be mandatory. I’m definitely concerned about who has clearance to use the autopen—no President of mine should have one of his correspondences signing laws into effect. I didn’t vote for that correspondent. I don’t even know their name!

There aren’t too many signatures I particularly care about. I am by no means an autograph hound. I’ve always found it amusing the desires people have to broadcast the fact that they have so and so signature. Any signature worth mentioning is 9 times out of 10 ineligible—no one writes out their full name in the cursive print most of us learned in 3rd grade. And with celebrities, unless you, yourself and Irene where there, how would anyone know it’s real? The selling of signatures is a lucrative business regardless of the fact that anyone could have scrawled what’s on that paper. I myself have maybe a dozen in total, autographed books and CD’s, and while I don’t boast of them, I enjoy recalling the events surrounding them. But if I wasn’t there to vouch for them myself, I’m pretty inclined to assume if they’re in mass production availability, its probably faux.

On my refrigerator is a letter from the Democratic State Central Committee, fashioned as so to appear that it is from President Obama. It thanks me for my citizenship and notifies me of my voting location. It’s a conversation starter on my fridge that I get a kick out of. For one second do I think the President personally signed and sent these all out—heck no! My assumption has been to believe that there’s probably a stamp, digital signature or something for task such as these; and I’m completely fine with it. I simply find it nifty to have something that has my name on it and the President’s in official script.

Previously unaware of the autopen, this newly revealed to me, “secret”, makes plenty of sense. New information regarding the signing of an official legal document via autopen, makes less sense.

It was believed to be the first time a president has used an autopen to sign legislation, and that didn’t sit well with a number of Republicans. Twenty-one GOP House members sent Obama a letter on June 17 asking him to re-sign the legislation with his actual signature because use of the autopen “appears contrary to the Constitution.”

Obama’s team relied on a 29-page legal analysis crafted during the administration of President George W. Bush to argue that the faux signature passed constitutional muster.

Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary under the younger Bush, says the Bush White House had considered using the autopen to sign a minor piece of legislation as a test case, “but in the end Bush just kept signing the parchment himself.” Bush used the autopen for routine correspondence and photos but not on matters of importance, Fleischer said.

The situation facts where that the document physically could not be presented to the President in a sufficient time frame, therefore support and recognition of Bush’s legal analysis does make sense. The request by the GOP House members for a formal re-sign should have never needed to be a request, but instead a stipulation in accompaniment to such a situation.  Nuff said. Hey politicians—aren’t these things you get paid the big bucks to get straight?


About maggie.

Maggie Barnes is a nonprofit and for profit business content specialist / social media consultant; and social sciences web writer interested in everything from psychology and sexuality, to technology, race, and economics. She is passionate about good communication and information accessibility.


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