Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on
 

Obama's critics, repudiated at last

By LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor
updated 5:26 AM EST, Thu November 8, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • LZ Granderson: Some critics don't just disagree with him; they disrespect him
  • Nothing Obama has ever done was good enough for them, Granderson says
  • But on Tuesday, it was good enough for voters, he says
  • No one needs to take this country back, because it hasn't been stolen, says Granderson

Editor's note: LZ Granderson, who writes a weekly column for CNN.com, was named journalist of the year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and is a 2011 Online Journalism Award finalist for commentary. He is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter: @locs_n_laughs

(CNN) -- "Take our country back."

Almost as soon as Barack Obama became president four years ago, we began hearing that phrase, as if black folks had stolen the White House. Each time I see one of those "Take Our Country Back" signs on someone's lawn, I want to knock on the door and ask, "from whom?"

From whom are you trying to take this country back?

But I don't, because I already know the answer.

LZ Granderson
LZ Granderson

It's the same answer to the question of why so many people still don't believe that President Obama was born in the United States. Or why they continue to question his faith or why Donald Trump feels comfortable insulting the office by promising his pocket change in exchange for Obama's college transcripts, as if the president is a stripper desperate for singles.

He and his kind are so pathetic.

Become a fan of CNNOpinion
Stay up to date on the latest opinion, analysis and conversations through social media. Join us at Facebook/CNNOpinion and follow us @CNNOpinion on Twitter. We welcome your ideas and comments.



They don't just disagree with him. They disrespect him, because in their minds, he's not supposed to be there. He got a handout. He's not a real American. Something about him ain't ... quite ... right.

Opinion: Obama's victory won't transform America

So when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, his critics spent more time discrediting the importance of the award than congratulating him for winning it.

When unemployment fell under 8%, they accused the Obama administration of fixing the numbers.

When the president opted to campaign instead of surveying the damage caused by Hurricane Isaac sooner, he was called selfish. When Obama left the campaign trail to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, former FEMA Director Michael Brown criticized him for responding too quickly.

Fiscal cliff awaits Obama and the world
World weighs in on Obama victory
The road to Obama's victory

Nothing he did was good enough for them.

But on Tuesday, it was good enough for the majority of real Americans.

We watched then-congressman Pete Hoekstra call the stimulus package a failure and then show up for a groundbreaking ceremony for a manufacturing plant made possible by the stimulus. We saw Texas Gov. Rick Perry call the stimulus a waste during debates while quietly using stimulus money to balance his state's budget. Rep. Paul Ryan, the supposed numbers man of the Republican Party, repeatedly called the stimulus a wasteful spending spree, and then we found out he wrote letters asking for stimulus money in his district (PDF), because according to him, it would "stimulate the local and area economy by creating new jobs."

It was hard for real Americans to take criticism of the Recovery Act seriously when those doing the criticizing were busy talking out of both sides of their anti-Obama mouths.

And that's exactly what we've watched for much of four years: the president's critics being more focused on making him look like a failure than on helping the country succeed.

Some call it politics.

I call it unpatriotic.

Either way, despite the disrespect and the disregard and the attempts to suppress votes or intimidate voters, despite the misguided cry of "take our country back," Obama was re-elected because the majority of the American people saw the truth.

You remember when Ryan stood up in front of nation during the Republican National Convention and blamed the president for a plant closing in Janesville, Wisconsin? Yeah, turns out the closure was planned before Obama even took office. The people in Janesville knew the truth, which is probably why more than 60% of the county it's in voted for Obama.

Opinion: Five things Obama must do

There is no need to take this country back, because it hasn't gone anywhere ... except forward ... toward a more perfect union where the "All-American look" is getting a little bit harder to define. That may make a lot of people uncomfortable, but personal discomfort isn't a good enough reason to slight 25 consecutive months of job growth, resurgent house prices and corporations seeing record profit. Every president since Theodore Roosevelt has talked about reforming health care, and Obama is the one who got it done -- yet his critics say he's done nothing since he's been in office.

Now, of course, there is still a lot of work ahead. We have a deficit to address, a fiscal cliff that is threatening millions of jobs and a GDP that is limping. And the administration is going to make mistakes. Every administration does.

But now that this election is finally over, maybe more Republicans will be willing to take a page from the book of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and give Obama some credit for the things he's done right. We can still challenge the president's ideas without asking for his papers or spitting on our highest office.

When I think about where this country was four years ago -- with us losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month, engulfed in two wars and disliked by many of our allies -- I believe Obama has done a lot that's right.

And from the looks of his resounding re-election, the majority of real Americans feel the same way.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of LZ Granderson.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:24 PM EDT, Sat September 20, 2014
John Sutter boarded a leaky oyster boat in Connecticut with a captain who can't swim as he set off to get world leaders to act on climate change
updated 7:22 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Is ballet dying? CNN spoke with Isabella Boylston, a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, about the future of the art form.
updated 5:47 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Sally Kohn says it's time we take climate change as seriously as we do warfare in the Middle East
updated 9:02 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Dean Obeidallah says an Oklahoma state representative's hateful remarks were rightfully condemned by religious leaders..
updated 3:22 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
No matter how much planning has gone into U.S. military plans to counter the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Arab public isn't convinced that anything will change, says Geneive Abdo
updated 11:44 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
President Obama's strategy for destroying ISIS seems to depend on a volley of air strikes. That won't be enough, says Haider Mullick.
updated 9:03 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Paul Begala says Hillary Clinton has plenty of good reasons not to jump into the 2016 race now
updated 11:01 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Scotland decided to trust its 16-year-olds to vote in the biggest question in its history. Americans, in contrast, don't even trust theirs to help pick the county sheriff. Who's right?
updated 9:57 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Ruben Navarrette says spanking is an acceptable form of disciplining a child, as long as you follow the rules.
updated 11:47 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Frida Ghitis says the foiled Australian plot shows ISIS is working diligently to taunt the U.S. and its allies.
updated 3:58 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Young U.S. voters by and large just do not see the midterm elections offering legitimate choices because, in their eyes, Congress has proven to be largely ineffectual, and worse uncaring, argues John Della Volpe
updated 9:58 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Steven Holmes says spanking, a practice that is ingrained in our culture, accomplishes nothing positive and causes harm.
updated 2:31 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Sally Kohn says America tried "Cowboy Adventurism" as a foreign policy strategy; it failed. So why try it again?
updated 10:27 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Van Jones says the video of John Crawford III, who was shot by a police officer in Walmart, should be released.
updated 10:48 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
NASA will need to embrace new entrants and promote a lot more competition in future, argues Newt Gingrich.
updated 7:15 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
If U.S. wants to see real change in Iraq and Syria, it will have to empower moderate forces, says Fouad Siniora.
updated 8:34 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Mark O'Mara says there are basic rules to follow when interacting with law enforcement: respect their authority.
updated 9:05 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
LZ Granderson says Congress has rebuked the NFL on domestic violence issue, but why not a federal judge?
updated 7:49 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Mel Robbins says the only person you can legally hit in the United States is a child. That's wrong.
updated 1:23 PM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
Eric Liu says seeing many friends fight so hard for same-sex marriage rights made him appreciate marriage.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT