Remember those abortion issue ads the DFL aired during last fall's election campaign? The party and its various candidates and support groups didn't run just a few ads on the subject. They flooded our television screens with them, almost as though nothing else mattered.
The DFL as you'll recall was completely candid. They hid nothing. At the risk of being accused of dredging up the recent past, let me recall a few of those ads. Here, after all, we saw American democracy in action. We want to preserve and celebrate our democracy, don't we?
Remember the ad that told us how the DFL would assure that every individual had a "fundamental right" to an abortion, and explained the sweeping effects that would have?
And in this age of feelings, the DFL couldn't resist tugging at our heart strings in a few of their ads. Recall the ad with the teenage girl. She was pregnant, but she didn't want to tell her parents. The ad made it clear that the DFL would always protect both her privacy and her fundamental right to have an abortion — no questions asked, no secrets revealed, at least not to parents.
Then there was the ad that featured a married couple who had decided a late-term abortion was vitally necessary. We weren't told why, but the couple couldn't possibly have been more appealing. Then something went terribly wrong with the abortion. The baby survived. What next? We weren't told. But with the DFL in charge, it seemed safe to assume the, um, matter could be dealt with.
Of course, there was a parallel ad that reminded voters abortion already was legal in Minnesota well beyond the first trimester. And there was even that painfully honest ad in which an earnest young man thanked the DFL for keeping his sexual freedom unbounded.
Attempting to cover as many issues as possible, the DFL also ran ads concerning various inconveniences — such as waiting periods prior to an abortion, or required ultrasounds or counseling sessions. All that could also be readily dispensed with.
And just for good measure that comprehensive DFL ad campaign made it clear that a DFL-controlled Legislature would prohibit any local governmental authority from ever taking any action that would limit anyone's fundamental right to "reproductive health care."
There you have it. It was quite an ad campaign …
But wait a minute! Maybe my memory isn't quite what it used to be. Fact is, the ads I've just described detailing the abortion policies DFLers planned to enact never appeared at all.
I guess I've gotten things mixed up. You see, I've been reading the provisions of the bill on "reproductive freedom" currently under consideration in our DFL-controlled Legislature. The bill is very brief, so brief that there's nothing in it that would place any limitation at all on an individual's right to obtain an abortion right up to the moment of birth.
It's all very ... what's the word ...? Extreme. Yes, that's it. It's all very extreme. And it's all coming back to me now.
That is the idea with which the actual DFL ads kept interrupting football games last fall. Those actual ads were all about extremism — Republican extremism — how the DFL's opponents were "too extreme for Minnesota," weren't they?
Trouble is, those actual DFL ads never got around to revealing who the real extremists were — and are.
John C. "Chuck" Chalberg writes from Bloomington.