I can sympathize with those who think rehashing the Vietnam War is a waste of time. However, there are two big problems with that view.
The first is that such a view is precisely what the Kerry campaign wanted so as to insulate Senator Kerry from criticism. All he’s presented is the Vietnam war and if we move, there’s nothing to talk about with Kerry. Since he’s running as the Not Bush staying under cloak is his primary strategy. It frankly seems to be very biased to me, that the Democratic Party can bring up Vietnam era issues over and over, both in attack and defense mode, but once it starts biting them back it’s time to “move on”. At what point is there any accountability?
The other big reason is that the country as a whole hasn’t moved on. The very bitterness which has erupted is proof of that. This actually touches on some big issues, such as “can America act militarily for good in the world?”. It might touch on “Is Communism evil?”. That may seem self evident but there are still large sections of the politically active in the USA who wouldn’t agree.
I still don’t care that much about the medals. But I think it was a well planned shot across the bow. The second SwiftVet advertisement with Kerry’s own testimony is the real attack and it is far more powerful and politically significant than the flap about Kerry’s medals. It also speaks far more directly to the issues mentioned above that are still very relevant and disputed today.