The act of discrediting a political opponent by making exaggurated or outrightly false claims about his/her character and past actions.

Coined from the 2004 US Presidential campaign, where the the conservative group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth aired a commercial criticizing democrat John Kerry's reputation as a war hero in Vietnam. It has since become a popular term with leftist journalists.
Jed: Sylva says she's against the war, but she has no idea about how much it protects our country. It's not like she actually earned her PhD in political science - her daddy has influence at that college.

Alex: Dude, stop swift boating my girlfriend!
by ItsumademoOtaku August 22, 2005
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"Swift-boating" has entered the political lexicon as a noun, adjective or verb and is usually invoked as a pejorative term by Kerry supporters to indicate that Kerry was treated unfairly when unpleasant but truthful accusations were raised.

Explanatory notes: Such accusations by genuine war heroes and former POWs undercut Kerry's claim to Vietnam hero status. They exposed how Kerry had manipulated the Navy's system to award himself three Purple Hearts in order to limit his service in a combat zone to four months. Democratic apologists blame disingenuously Kerry's flaccid and untimely response to the accusations with the knowledge that, if Kerry released his complete military records, they would show a general discharge for having met with enemy leaders while still in the Navy Reserve. Kerry was restored to Honorable Discharge status by President Carter in 1978. Kerry's supporters then coined the term "swift boating" to shift the blame from Kerry to his political opponents even though a full refutation of the accusations was avainlable if Kerry were to file a SF-180, which he has refused to do for reasons herein laid bare. The president and his campaign staff were never involved in exposing Kerry as a hypocrite and incorrigible opportunist.
Those f&$#ing vets were swift boating the presidential candidate we selected for his ostensible military credentials and electability causing him to lose the election that was supposed to reverse the 2000 presidential election results.
by OESY7 January 30, 2007
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to attack opponents and critics, especially by using unfair practices and deception
Maybe he'll even call off the right-wing attack machine so it won't Swift-boat the Katrina survivors who emerge to ask tough questions as it has Cindy Sheehan and those New Jersey widows who had the gall to demand a formal 9/11 inquiry.
by Pavle September 4, 2005
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The phrase "swift boat" describes a Vietnam-era patrol boat, but it is increasingly being used to describe the political tactic of using a concentrated media effort to discredit a person or idea.

The phrase developed out of the 2004 U.S. presidential election, when a group called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" attempted to suggest that Democratic candidate John Kerry lied in order to earn two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star during the Vietnam War. The group, as it turns out, was funded primarily by people who also frequently donated millions of dollars to the Republican party. Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was formed for the sole purpose of discrediting Kerry's Vietnam War service and has not been heard from since the end of the election.
From Wired magazine: "Phrases like 'junk science' and 'sound science' are creations of the right in its effort to 'swift boat' research it doesn't like."
by Mark Wilson August 31, 2005
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To be made a fool of. To look like a horses ass. To take it up the "Poop-Shoot" in a presidential election and still think of yourself as some kinda war hero.
John Kerry got "swift-boated" in the 2004 presidential election.
by JihadGene September 15, 2006
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To thwart a conspiracy to deceive the public by getting the facts out on someone despite a concerted effort on the part of the media to ignore and/or actively discredit a politically inconvenient truth.
ABC's false stories were unable to prevent the veteran's group from being able to swift boat Kerry's Vietnam fantasy.
by Bobby Farrelly August 29, 2006
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Noun: A well orchestrated campaign of character assassination and disinformation instigated by a concealed proxy.
"...Once (Cindy) Sheehan could no longer be ignored, the Swift Boating began. Character assassination is the Karl Rove tactic of choice, eagerly mimicked by his media surrogates, whenever the White House is confronted by a critic who challenges it on matters of war. The Swift Boating is especially vicious if the critic has more battle scars than a president who connived to serve stateside and a vice president who had "other priorities" during Vietnam.

"The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan" By Frank Rich. New York Times Op-Ed 8/22/05
by Clem Snide August 30, 2005
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