In case you missed it, there was an election last week. While Democrats picked up roughly three-dozen seats in the U.S. House, Terry Duff sees the results as a repudiation of Barack Obama: “Why didn’t Barack Obama go to Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan to campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial candidates in those states?” he asks. “After all, look at his success in the Florida and Georgia races. His tried and failed message of his version of ‘hope, change, and health care’ by fundamentally changing America is exactly why America is becoming great again. History books, in the future, will rave about Nancy Pelosi’s only crowning achievement: She found Trump’s lost tax returns.”

T Scott, meanwhile, wants to correct a letter-writer from last week’s Backtalk: “Last week you published the views of a reader who blithely and incorrectly asserted that Trump ‘has turned this economy around for sure.’ This view is myopic in the extreme. The facts are that the economy has been growing since 2010. Between 2010 and 2016, the unemployment rate fell from 10 percent to 5 percent. The continuation of positive growth in GNP and the further reduction of unemployment since 2017 is as much a product of the forward momentum of the Obama policies as anything done under Trump. The Trump tax cuts added some stimulus to the mix, but at what future cost remains to be determined.”

Mike Harris writes that “while the midterms were not quite the sweeping validation that my wife had hoped for, it is still a much brighter day in the U.S. of A. today. Proof positive of that is the snit that President Trump is in. Trump went rapidly through the stages of grief: denial (with a bizarre tweet referring to ‘tremendous success’), then anger (scrapping with reporters), then bargaining (praise for Nancy Pelosi!). I’m guessing that depression and acceptance will be along after January, when it sinks in that his congressional rubber stamp has truly been taken away. (After, of course, a monumental tantrum.)

“For me, personally, this midterm meant a lot. When Trump was elected, I was stunned. I could not believe that anyone could possibly think that this shamelessly self-loving, arrogant, bombastic clown could be the president of the United States, no matter how much he swore that, when elected, he would be ‘so presidential!’ As the midterms approached, I dared to hope that the results would demonstrate that Americans do not want the nation to be governed by a hate-filled, misogynistic misanthrope whose delusions of grandeur make him believe that he—and he alone—can decide for all what the very nature of truth is, that any inconvenient fact can be disposed with by self-serving and fraudulent ‘alternative facts,’ with no support from reality.

“I love my country. I don’t buy into slogans like ‘Make America Great Again’ because America is great. Sure, some aspects can and should be better—but that betterment comes from moving forward, not backward. A free press exists, and it should not be made into ‘the enemy of the people’ by someone whose fear of that press motivates his attitude. No one man should have jurisdiction over the truth, and no political party should allow itself to become a cult of personality to hang on to power. Clearly, there should be negative consequences for going down this path.

“If the midterms had validated Donald Trump’s twisted truths and supported his dark vision for the U.S., I would have fallen into despair. I would have lost faith in the intelligence, compassion, and basic common sense of my fellow citizens. Thankfully, the midterms proved that America does pay attention, and does still care. Now, with a little luck and some long-overdue due diligence, the nation may yet be saved.”

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