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 6:47 PM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Q & A with artist Rachel Sussman on her new book of photographs, "The Oldest Living Things in the World."
updated 3:58 PM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Martin Blaser says the overuse of antibiotics threatens to deplete our bodies of "good" microbes, leaving us vulnerable to an unstoppable plague--an "antibiotic winter"
updated 1:37 PM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
John Sutter asks: Is it possible to eat meat in modern-day America and consider yourself an environmentalist without being a hypocrite?
updated 11:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Sally Kohn notes that Meb Keflezighi rightly was called an American after he won the Boston Marathon, but his status in the U.S. once was questioned
updated 8:56 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Denis Hayes and Scott Denman say on this Earth Day, the dawn of the Solar Age is already upon us and the Atomic Age of nuclear power is in decline
updated 4:36 PM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
Retired Coast Guard officer James Loy says a ship captain bears huge responsibility.
updated 1:08 PM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
Peter Bergen says the latest strikes are part of an aggressive U.S. effort to target militants, including a bomb maker
updated 9:45 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
Cynthia Lummis and Peter Welch say 16 agencies carry out national intelligence, and their budgets are top secret. We need to know how they are spending our money.
updated 8:35 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
Julian Zelizer says President Obama knows more than anyone that he has much at stake in the midterm elections.
updated 8:55 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eric Sanderson says if you really want to strike a blow for the environment--and your health--this Earth Day, work to get cars out of cities and create transportation alternatives
updated 10:08 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
Bruce Barcott looks at the dramatic differences in marijuana laws in Colorado and Louisiana
updated 4:47 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Jim Bell says NASA's latest discovery supports the notion that habitable worlds are probably common in the galaxy.
updated 2:17 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Jay Parini says even the Gospels skip the actual Resurrection and are sketchy on the appearances that followed.
updated 1:52 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Graham Allison says if an unchecked and emboldened Russia foments conflict in a nation like Latvia, a NATO member, the West would have to defend it.
updated 9:11 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
John Sutter: Bad news, guys -- the pangolin we adopted is missing.
updated 2:25 PM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
Ben Wildavsky says we need a better way to determine whether colleges are turning out graduates with superior education and abilities.
updated 6:26 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Charles Maclin, program manager working on the search and recovery of Malaysia Flight 370, explains how it works.
updated 8:50 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Jill Koyama says Michael Bloomberg is right to tackle gun violence, but we need to go beyond piecemeal state legislation.
updated 2:45 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
Michael Bloomberg and Shannon Watts say Americans are ready for sensible gun laws, but politicians are cowed by the NRA. Everytown for Gun Safety will prove the NRA is not that powerful.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT