Krystal Ball doesn't want 'to un-Pelosi the Democratic Party'

By BERRY CRAIG
AFT Local 1360

I wonder if Vox's Jeff Stein winced at the headline on his story about Krystal Ball's People's House Project.

This old reporter would have had the story been his.

"Tired of losing the Rust Belt, new Democratic group has strategy to un-Pelosi the party" topped Stein's story.

Bad headlines are the bane of reporters. Many readers don't know it, but editors write most headlines, and sometimes they don't reflect what a story is really about.

Ball's goal is not to "un-Pelosi the party" -- far from it.

So I found the last part of the headline cringe-worthy. In an email exchange, Ball agreed with me that the headline was misleading. However, the former MSNBC host was philosophical.

"But I'm glad for the coverage! Response has been very positive."

Stein pointed out that Ball "aims to give progressive candidates in the Midwest and Appalachia a new form of support that isn't dependent on the Democratic Party's coastal financial elite."

A trio of solidly progressive, pro-union Democrats are backing the project: Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Dan Kildee (D-Michigan), and John Yarmuth (D-Kentucky).

Despite what the headline might insinuate, the People's House Project is not Republican-Lite. Stein did not say, or even imply, that Ball has a problem with the minority leader, who is from California.

Ball certainly is not calling for the Democratic Party to change its values or to abandon its historic commitment to protect the rights of minorities and other groups victimized by Trumpism.

Instead, she wants to recruit as candidates blue-collar Democrats. Good examples from my salad days include Ohioan Howard Metzenbaum, the grandson of working class Jewish immigrants from Poland, France, and Hungary, and Philip Hart of Michigan, whose grandparents came from Ireland; former Oklahoma Sen. Fred Harris, the son of sharecroppers; and the late Rep. Barbara Jordan of Texas, the daughter of a Baptist pastor.