Did Abu Ghraib Re-elect Bush?
One of the most promising Democratic hopes was that an apparently-harmless protestor at the Republican National Convention would get beaten up by a cop. After the Abu Ghraib fiasco every cop will remember that the cameras are running. Voters might even blame Democrats for wimpy behavior by cops.
There's also the possibility that a protestor might get beaten up (or worse) by a delegate. According to New York Magazine:
So the show will go on, but to what end? All the protesters have different answers. Dobbs hopes the protests at the RNC will be viewed as a referendum on the Bush presidency and the Iraq war. Cagan believes that successful demonstrations—peaceful and massive—will bring in new activists to “help build a broader global-peace and social-justice movement.” The Reverend Billy romantically dreams that his Ninth Symphony will, in some miraculous fashion, reveal to “all consumers how 9/11 has been used to sell the war.” Sellers hopes that “disciplined, well-organized protests” will improve the public image of progressive movements, while other direct-action advocates like Jamie Moran merely aim to “annoy the living crap out of delegates,” with little regard for what happens next.I don't know how that will play in swing states.
On the other hand, The Enemy is afraid of live cameras, so maybe I'm making too much of this.