It's interesting that Republicans and Democrats have a different definition of the term “Swift boating”.
To the Democrats it's the attempt to smear an opponent with innuendo and straw man arguments.
To the Republicans it's calling into question claims made by an opponent when veterans that served with that opponent debunk claims he made both during Congressional hearings in 1971 and during his presidential campaign.
During the 2004 Presidential race a number of US Navy veterans that served with Democratic candidate John Kerry on swift boats in Vietnam disputed claims he made, including his memories of being in Cambodia quite some time before President Nixon authorized US military personnel to pursue NVA regulars and the remnants of the Viet Cong into countries bordering North and South Vietnam. They disputed claims about how he received his three Purple Hearts. One of those vets was a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. So, who would you believe?
In 2008 the Democrats are trying to turn the tables on the Republican candidate, John McCain, by making claims he plagiarized an incident that he recounts took place while being help as a POW in North Vietnam, saying the scene came right out of Gulag Archipelago by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn.. The problem with the Democrats claim? It's untrue.
First, McCain had a number of other POWs that backed up his claim. Second, Gulag Archipelago wasn't published until 1973. The POWs recall McCain had related his tale in 1970, and other POWs had related the same kind of incident as McCain. So, who would you believe?