The Other McCain
The key to becoming irrelevant is to develop an irrational obsession — an idée fixe — and ride that hobby horse without regard for changes in circumstances or public interest. Become tedious by ranting against obscure scapegoats and obsolete controversies that have no signficance except to you and whatever tiny clique of like-minded kooks share your fanatical fixation.
About a half-hour ago, I learned that Edward “Crawfish” Sebesta is still online raving about the neo-Confederate menace. He’s got an entire blog devoted to the topic, and has been tilting at that particular windmill for more than 15 years now.
To make a long story short: Ed Sebesta is a guy from Up North who moved Down South, and immediately commenced to make himself obnoxious to his new neighbors, beginning in Dallas, Texas, where he lives. Like most towns in the South, Dallas has a Confederate monument. Sebesta decided this monument was a symbol of evil and petitioned the city to remove this awful blight.
His request was declined, and Sebesta’s resulting mad rage turned him into a one-man Permanent Committee of Vengeance, a bizarre single-issue derangement that endeared him to the Southern Poverty Law Center and to no one else. The controversies that consume Sebesta’s demented mind haven’t gotten any widespread attention since about 2006, when the absurd accusation that George Allen was a “neo-Confederate” got all tangled up in the “macaca” nonsense. (Fact: Jim Webb is a lot more neo-Confederate than Allen ever was, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Virginia supported Webb over Allen in 2006.)
Without regard for his irrelevance, Sebesta still toils away, evidently convinced that sooner or later this will matter to somebody again. And who know? Maybe he’s right. But it’s 2012 now, and most people are worried about issues like economics and deficit spending. However, the dim prospects for a revival of the “neo-Confederate” scare haven’t deterred Sebesta from carrying on in the same way he’s been carrying on since he declared a jihad against that monument in Dallas.
Sebesta reminds me of nothing so much as diehard 9/11 Truther kooks — “Fire can’t melt steel! Inside job! Bush lied!” — or perhaps a better analogy would be JFK assassination conspiracy theorists endlessly replaying the Zapruder film and muttering about the “grassy knoll.”
Sixteen years after I first encountered Sebesta doing his Chicken Little act, the sky still has not fallen, and the dreaded neo-Confederate menace still has not staged a bloody coup or whatever ever other evil clandestine activity he claimed they were up to.
That Confederate monument still stands 60 feet tall in downtown Dallas.
It’s a conspiracy!