Bee-dubya-ell, I wasn't intending to suggest your interpretation and my interpretation were identical...I just thought I would give you credit for uttering the unutterable...
Little Hawk, I see a (subtle??) shift in the way candidates have been using military experience over the years. I do not think that Eisenhower, Kennedy, the first Bush, etc, were using their military experience as "war heroism." I think it was more of a, "if I have experienced the hell of war, either as a good soldier or as a command leader, then I can certainly lead in a time of peace", assuming, as it were, that leadership in a time of peace is easier than leadership in a time of war. However, if a war needed to be waged, then "I've been there."
In fact, Clinton was the first President in decades that did not serve in some form of the armed services, either active or reserve. Reference to one's military service may have been viewed as simply checking one more box on the resume qualifier.
My take on the whole Kerry debacle was that he was trying to up the ante and proclaim himself to be a hero...going above and beyond the pale of duty. When this was flatly rejected, he had no anwer. In short, Kerry Swiftboated himself.
Where I see the term "Swiftboated" as being illegitmate is its use when any bizzare accusation is brought against a politician. In the context of this thread, the ONLY way someone could say that Obama is being "Swiftboated" is if Obama made his heterosexuality and his purity in regard to drug use a leading aspect of his campaign. I don't know about the first, but he has openly admitted drug "experimentation" in his past. You cannot "Swift Boat" someone who admits a weakness, only someone who makes an exagerated claim of heroism or perfection.
Therefore, as a matter of definition, Obama cannot be "Swift Boated" on the issue of drugs, because he is not claiming to be a "drug free hero."
One other pet peeve...it was AL GORE who brought the Willie Horton issue against Dukakis. The Republicans gladly accepted the gift and used it with glee, but lets give credit where credit is due...