Sen. Bill Rabon’s Seussian Problem

If Sen. Bill Rabon is going to start using Seussian allusions, then he might want to make sure he’s read more than one Seuss book.

Apparently, Rabon called Governor Cooper a “grinch” in reference to the Seuss character who for most of a beloved children’s book attempts to steal Christmas from Whoville.


From the News & Observer today:

Senate Republicans are asking Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to not be a “grinch” by waiting to veto legislation that could force lawmakers to return to Raleigh during Christmas week to try to override his rejections.

In a news release Monday, Senate Republicans said Cooper should veto or sign the remaining bills on his desk now so that legislators can act on overriding them on Tuesday as opposed to next week. Lawmakers say a decision by Cooper on the bills now, as opposed to waiting for the up to 10 days allowed by state law, means “non-partisan General Assembly staff can make plans for the holidays with their families.”

There are several bills on Cooper’s desk that potentially could be vetoed. At least one group, the Charlotte Mecklenburg school system, has urged the governor to delay a veto in hopes that GOP lawmakers won’t override the decision.

“The hardworking non-partisan staff, member office staffs and reporters who cover the General Assembly don’t deserve to get caught up in Gov. Cooper’s political gamesmanship,” Senate Rules Chairman Bill Rabon, a Republican from Brunswick County, said in the news release. “Gov. Cooper already knows if he is going to veto any of the bills that we passed last week and he should do so as soon as possible so staff can make holiday plans without the specter of a Christmas week override vote hanging over their heads.”

The irony of what Rabon said concerning Cooper’s “lack” of action almost amounts to the hubris displayed by King Derwin in Bartholomew and the Ooblek. Here is a man who as part of a lame duck special session called for to address matters that could have been handled in the next scheduled legislative session calling someone a “grinch” because he is being “partisan.”

But maybe if Sen. Rabon wants to use Seuss as a means to describe what is happening in North Carolina, he could at least open up some more of Seuss’s books. He could think of it as a remedy for an ailment of ignorance much like juice of the flower found on the Zinniga-Zanniga tree.

In February of 2009, the eclectic magazine Mental Floss, published an article written by Stacy Conradt entitled “10 Stories Behind Dr. Seuss Stories” that provided background content for some of Theodor Seuss Geisel most well-known stories (

If you have never read a copy of Mental Floss, then treat yourself. It’s a rather nerdy respite from the world and highly engaging. We have subscribed to it for years. And it was started by some people at Duke University.

Known for his ability to weave issues that surrounded the current political and social landscape of his time, Seuss was able to craft complex allegorical stories in such a way that it was palpable to the imagination of a child and the intellect of an aware adult.

However, while the stories themselves have reached an age that spans decades, their applicability and messages still have power and may be more relevant to the present than ever before.

Conradt specifically named 10 of Suess’s stories. While I will not refer to all of them, I will put in bold her descriptions of the texts she lists and then follow with application to Rabon and his political cronies.

1. “The Lorax is widely recognized as Dr. Seuss’ take on environmentalism and how humans are destroying nature.”

Think of the Duke Energy’s coal ash pits. Think of the lawsuits about the hog farms that the state has put a cap on to appease the hog industry. Think about GenX and the state of water in many places – even schools in Charlotte-Mecklenberg.


2. “Green Eggs and Ham. Bennett Cerf, Dr. Seuss’ editor, bet him that he couldn’t write a book using 50 words or less. The Cat in the Hat was pretty simple, after all, and it used 225 words. Not one to back down from a challenge, Mr. Geisel started writing and came up with Green Eggs and Ham—which uses exactly 50 words.”

Have you ever looked at the comments made by many of the candidates who caucus with Rabon on the recent campaign trail? They talked about the same spun points over and over again with a preponderance of repetition.

Or if we are talking about lack of words being used, have you seen Rabon answering any questions about potential election fraud in Bladen County, which right next to Rabon’s district?


3. “Horton Hears a Who! The line from the book, “A person’s a person, no matter how small,” has been used as a slogan for pro-life organizations for years. It’s often questioned whether that was Seuss’ intent in the first place, but when he was still alive, he threatened to sue a pro-life group unless they removed his words from their letterhead.”

HB2. Gerrymandering of districts. Voter ID laws. Refusal to expend Medicaid.



4. “Oh The Places You’ll Go is Dr. Seuss’ final book, published in 1990. It sells about 300,000 copies every year because so many people give it to college and high school grads.”

With Mark Johnson as the state superintendent who has the support of Rabon, it seems that many of those future graduates are meant to come from schools that were once public but now “reformed” into privatized entities.


5.  And then there is The Big Brag.

Just listen to all of the things Rabon and his cronies have claimed to have done for the sake of North Carolina that ultimately caused the loss of a super-majority in both chambers of Rabon’s party.


Maybe in the time that Cooper is allowed to legally weigh what is best for North Carolina, Sen. Rabon could catch up on more Seuss.

And even realize that the Grinch does do the right thing in the end. For everybody.

One thought on “Sen. Bill Rabon’s Seussian Problem

  1. Pingback: Grinch remark spurs schoolteacher to provide Sen. Bill Rabon a lesson in Dr. Seuss | The Progressive Pulse

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