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 6:25 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Pilot Robert Mark says it's been tough for the airline industry after the plane crashes in Ukraine and Taiwan.
updated 11:10 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Jennifer DeVoe laments efforts to end subsidies that allow working Americans to finally afford health insurance.
updated 8:45 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
John Sutter responds to criticism of his column on the ethics of eating dog.
updated 9:02 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Frida Ghitis says it's tempting to ignore North Korea's antics as bluster but the cruel regime is dangerous.
updated 2:50 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
To the question "Is Putin evil?" Alexander Motyl says he is evil enough for condemnation by people of good will.
updated 2:03 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Laurie Garrett: Poor governance, ignorance, hysteria worsen the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia.
updated 9:49 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Patrick Cronin and Kelley Sayler say the world is seeing nonstate groups such as Ukraine's rebels wielding more power to do harm than ever before
updated 6:05 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Ukraine ambassador Olexander Motsyk places blame for the MH17 tragedy squarely at the door of Russia
updated 7:42 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Mark Kramer says Russia and its proxies have a history of shooting down civilian aircraft, often with few repercussions
updated 2:53 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Les Abend says, with rockets flying over Tel Aviv and missiles shooting down MH17 over Ukraine, a commercial pilot's pre-flight checklist just got much more complicated
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Mark Kramer says Russia and its proxies have a history of shooting down civilian aircraft, often with few repercussions
updated 12:37 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Gerard Jacobs says grieving families and nations need the comfort of traditional rituals to honor the remains of loved ones, particularly in a mass disaster
updated 10:13 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
The idea is difficult to stomach, but John Sutter writes that eating dog is morally equivalent to eating pig, another intelligent animal. If Americans oppose it, they should question their own eating habits as well.
updated 12:30 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Bill van Esveld says under the laws of war, civilians who do not join in the fight are always to be protected. An International Criminal Court could rule on whether Israeli airstrikes and Hamas rocketing are war crimes.
updated 10:08 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Gordon Brown says the kidnapped Nigerian girls have been in captivity for 100 days, but the world has not forgotten them.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT