The latest campaign sturm und drang revolves around John F'ing Kerry's military medals. Did he earn them? Did he actually throw them away in 1971 or were those someone else's? Was the whole Medal-throwing incident political theatre? Did he mean it? Does he regret it?
To hear Kerry tell it, he merely threw away his ribbons, not the actual medals. For those of you unaware of how the military distributes such things, an award typically consists of two parts: the actual medal itself, and a ribbon which is worn on the "fruit salad" --- a collection of mini-medals worn over the left breast pocket of certain classes of uniform. The ribbons serve two purposes: a) you don't have to wear your actual medals all the time, b) they are a visual signal to others --- I was there, I did this, I'm a bad mother-fucker, I managed to avoid the clap for six whole months, etc, etc.
First Kerry says he threw away the medals. Then he says he only threw away the ribbons. What fucking difference does it make? He still disrespected his fellow sailors and soldiers and his country by throwing away his awards. In a sort of perverted way, he disrespected himself, tossing away awards that were (apparently) earned for valor in combat.
I don't partiucularly care if Kerry threw his medals away. That's his business. What I do care about is that he can't even seem to tell the truth about it of or get his story straight about it. To tell the truth about the medal incident either alienates Vietnam veterans (the very folks he may be counting on) or exposes him as a liar --- no win for Kerry no matter how you slice it.
The medal thing is a tempest in a teacup, to be sure, but it is indicitive of something else: are we dealing with a man who will do anything, say anything, whatever is expedient, to become President of the United States, and then when asked about the details and motivations will dissemble his head off? We've already had eight years of Bill Clinton, we don't need that kind of shennanigans in the White House again.