@TheDemocrats are engaging in Stalinistic revisionist history, as per usual, by trying to coin the neologism "swiftboating," which they define as "lying, baseless character assassination." However, as Accuracy in Media points out, the progressives are engaged in psychological projection. Hence, when Pelosi accuses GOP of wanting to infect children with E.Coli vs Heinz promoted Pure Food Laws; when Obama accuses GOP of wanting dirty air and dirty water vs Nixon's EPA; when Reid accuses Romney of tax evasion and corruption vs Reid's own graft, they are really JohnKerrying vs SwiftBoating their political opposition. To untangle the etymology, here is some actual historical context.
In faux Cherokee Elizabeth Warren-speak, many moons ago, on the shores of Massachusetts, by the shining big sea waters, lived a haughty supercilious schmo who desired to become head honcho over all the land. He saw that a guy with the same initial did so by joining the US Navy, serving in combat, writing a book about his escapades, and turning said book into a movie starring Cliff Robertson. John "Lurch" Kerry decided to cut and paste JFK's resume onto his own, but ended the arc of his career by following the path of another Robertson movie, "Charly". Kerry actually served in Vietnam, filled out the paperwork for three purple hearts, which allowed him to cut his tour of duty short. Kerry, of course, expected to return home to a hero's welcome, but, instead, found a bunch of dope smoking hippies burning American flags. Being the unprincipled weathercock that he is, Kerry decided to pivot in the wind and turn against his former comrades in arms. He became spokesschmuck for the Winter Soldiers and testified before Congress, smearing everyone in the military, calling them worse than Genghis Khan, apparently unconcerned that he was alienating the Mongolian American vote, who greatly esteem Khan's memory with both statues and beer.
It was proven that a number of so-called Winter Soldiers didn't serve in the military, let alone in combat. However, giving them the benefit of the doubt, which I don't, we're led to believe that Lurch, who so fastidiously dotted his i's an crossed his t's to secure his get out of Nam medals, couldn't find the time to file paperwork with JAG to document alleged violations of the UCMJ real time.
Compare and contrast Kerry's retroactive smear campaign with the valour and integrity of Hugh Thompson who stopped the My Lai massacre. Hence, Kerry tried to play both sides against the middle by cribbing both Kennedy's and Thompson's resumes and coopting their laurels for his own.
Fast forward to 2004. Kerry decides to run president. In the interim, Kerry had doubled down as his anti-American military smear campaign, whilst seeking a rapprochement with the VietCong, earning him a place of honor in the Commie museum of helpful Commie collaborators. Current and former servicemembers weren't interested in this Yankee Doodle Yo-Yo becoming our commander in chief. They exercised their 1st Amendment rights, just as he had done decades earlier, questioning HIS honor and integrity. They pointed out inconsistencies in his record, for which he couldn't account. The Dems, both with and without media bylines, were taken aback that uppity proles would ever question their DNC-appointed betters. From the progs' POV, Kerry had only stated the self evident and obvious, that all US military personnel are walking war criminal baby killers and are guilty until proven innocent.
To recap, Kerry clearly lied about most of his story, as per usual in the party of Joe "Plagiarize Kinnock" Biden and Barack "Composite Characters" Obama. Swift Boat vets called him out on his unctuous weaselness. The Dems psychologically projected their perfidy, turned facts upside down and inside out to characterize the story as Kerry telling "truth to power" and the evil Genghis Khan loving RethugliKKKans as smearing poor Lurch out of spite.
So, in conclusion, the progs are doing what Saul Alinskyites always do: making baseless accusations against political opponents. The Obamaites are JohnKerrying vs SwiftBoating Romney. The Special Ops guys are following the proud tradition of the swift boaters who hold smirking, smug, sarcastic, snide, snarky Kos Kids accountable for their own words and actions.