[ Re: Letters, “Take That, Walgreens,” Jan. 14-20] Walgreens was absolutely right by telling you it is “common sense” to know you should not park in their lot if you are not shopping in the store. Just as it is “common sense” that I would not park in your driveway to go have lunch at your neighbors house.
I manage a small parking lot in the city. I have signs at every parking space that say,
Assigned Parking Only
No Parking or Waiting
Vehicle will Be towed.
Pretty clear right? No, I still have people that tell me, “I will only be a minute.” “I just need to go in this store and I will be right out.” “I can't believe you will not let me park here for just a minute.”
What is it, in this sign, that people do not understand? It is extremely clear.
I will tell you what it is. Is is not about the Native Americans, it is not about corporate Walgreens, it is not about food at McDonald’s. And I am sure it has nothing to do with someone's daily quota.
It is about people like you who do not think the rules apply to them. You are a very arrogant group of individuals that think everyone else has to follow the rules but not yourselves.
Guess what Jeff and anyone else that thinks the rules do not apply to them, they do. If you ever feel you can park in our lot for “just a minute” think again, I will have you towed. I suggest you start following the rules or you are going to waste a lot of time and money out of your life if you do not.
Diary of a Freshman President
[Re: Ortiz y Pino, “The Audacity of Soap,” Jan. 21-27] Making historical analogies can be hazardous. History rarely repeats itself exactly.
Nonetheless, some historical perspective is in order. Has Barack Obama had a challenging first year? Well, yes. Will 2010 be even more difficult? More than likely.
Keep in mind, though, previous presidents have faced difficult first years—and even second years—yet been re-elected and gone on to complete a reasonably successful presidency.
“Just my opinion, but I am firmly convinced no president—and I mean no president—has ever “turned things around” in his first year, be it Washington, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt or FDR.”
Some examples come to mind. In reverse chronological order:
1) Clinton’s first year, especially with respect to health care (sound familiar?), fell flat. In his second year, Republicans took control of both houses of Congress for the first time since the Korean War. Yet they overreached and Clinton was re-elected in ’96—in a near landslide. He went on to complete his second term with some successes, despite the Lewinsky scandal and near impeachment. Like it or not, his credibility with Democratic voters remains high, even in retirement, as he is constantly sought after as a speaker/fundraiser.
2) Ronald Reagan started his first year well, signing into law a comprehensive tax cut, among other things. In the next year, though, the economy actually worsened (whether his fault or not), his approval rating among the populace at large dropped to less than 30 percent, and Republicans lost a significant number of seats in Congress in the elections of ’82. Yet, he was re-elected in a landslide of historic proportions in ’84 and went on to maintain his popularity throughout the rest of his presidency despite the Iran-Contra scandal in his next-to-last year in office.
3) Last but not least, Harry Truman had a very bad first year. Even his most adoring biographers admit as much. Not only that, the mid-term elections of ’46 resulted in an overwhelming Republican majority for the first time since the economic Crash of ’29. Yet he was re-elected in ’48, the Republican majority in Congress subsequently evaporated, and he went on to a second term that now has him ranked among the great presidents in all of American history.
Just my opinion, but I am firmly convinced no president—and I mean no president—has ever “turned things around” in his first year, be it Washington, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt or FDR. And, I submit, all presidents have had a rocky road of it somewhere during the course of their presidencies. The good ones weather it all. That’s why they’re good.
A rough first or second year does not mean Obama will “rise from the ashes” and become another Truman. Neither does it mean he’ll inevitably fail.
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.