November 10, 2007

Who are the Onos?

Filed under: politics — ubikcan @ 7:00 am


I would like to close today’s writing efforts by offering up another caucus, this time in the Senate: the Onos, or Opposition in Name Only caucus. Who are the Onos? They are Senators who claim they oppose something conservative, and who even vote against that conservative something, but who refuse to actually filibuster that conservative something. Ono’s also can be spelled “Oh no,” as in, “oh no, I’m not actually going to stand up for what I believe in.”

I think Bowers is on to something here; even calling them a caucus (like the Bush Dogs) will help solidify them as a group in people’s minds.

The classic example of an Ono comes from the Samuel Alito confirmation hearings. While 42 Senators voted against Alito’s confirmation–enough to sustain a filibuster–only 25 Senators actually voted to filibuster. The 17 Senators who voted no on Alito, but who refused to filibuster Alito, are the Onos (those still in Congress in bold):

Akaka (D-HI), Baucus (D-MT), Bignaman (D-NM), Cantwell (D-DE), Chafee (R-RI), Dayton (D-MN), Dorgan (D-ND), Harkin (D-IA), Inouye (D-HI), Kohl (D-WI), Landrieu (D-LA), Lieberman (I-CT), Lincoln (D-AR), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Pryor (D-AR), Rockefeller (D-WV), Salazar (D-CO)

So, the nucleus of the Ono caucus are those fourteen Democratic Senators, plus Lieberman who voted against Alito, but didn’t filibuster him. The Onos are the answer to Glen Greenwald’s question from earlier today. If Democrats claim they need 60 votes to do anything, then why wasn’t 44 votes enough to stop Mukasey?

Lieberman is a DINO (Democrat in name only and not even that as he lost the Democratic nomination). I’m inclined to think this does answer Greenwald’s question.

What to do? Well, are there any GOP Onos?

Update: The one name arguably missing from that list is Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Glenn Greenwald at Salon reports:

Two months ago, Dianne Feinstein used her position on the Senate Intelligence Committee to enable passage of Bush’s FISA amendments, granting the President vast new warrantless surveillance powers.

Last month, Feinstein used her position on the Senate Judiciary Committee to ensure confirmation of Bush’s highly controversial judicial nominee Leslie Southwick, by being the only Committee Democrat to vote for the nomination (The Politico: “Sen. Dianne Feinstein had emerged as a linchpin in the controversial nomination”).

This week, Feinstein used her position on the Senate Judiciary Committee to enable confirmation of Bush’s Attorney General nominee by ensuring that the frightened Chuck Schumer didn’t have to stand alone (Fox News: “Schumer’s and Feinstein’s support for Mukasey virtually guarantees that a majority of the committee will recommend his confirmation”).

And now, Feinstein is using her position on the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Intelligence Committee — simultaneously — to single-handedly ensure fulfillment of Bush’s telecom amnesty demands, as her hometown newspaper, The San Francisco Chronicle, reports.

Glenn then links to a news story in the Post about how liberal blogs such as MyDD and Atrios are targeting the Onos or Bush Dogs (Bush enabling Democrats) by raising serious money for primary challengers. Earlier this week over $100,000 [actually now over twice that] was raised for such a candidate, Donna Edwards via ActBlue the online fund raising outfit.

In her last campaign, which came very close to beating Al Wynn, the incumbent, she raised a total of $350,000. The Post notes that this year she is better organized and funded.

Now Al Wynn is not a Republican and he has some progressive support from NAACP and NARAL, but he’s bad on the important votes. Basically he comes across as business as usual, one of those people who contribute to the image of “a plague on both your houses” that many people hold about Congress.

The Post reports that Edwards picked up a key endorsement herself:

On Monday, she was endorsed by the women’s organization Emily’s List, only the third challenger to an incumbent Democrat to receive its nod in the group’s 22-year history. The group, which sat out the 2006 race, intends its endorsement to signal to its 100,000 members that it believes the candidate has a real chance at winning and would be a good investment of campaign dollars.

I don’t think they’ll do the same for Dianne Feinstein.

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1 Comment »

  1. Senator Arlen Spector is a Republican who continually talks a good game without ever following up on his empty threats, and after listening to a clip from Senator Lindsey Graham’s remarks regarding the Mukasey confirmation, I was surprised to learn that he voted along with other Republican Senators.

    What do you call someone like Senator John McCain, who was a prisoner of war, after he voted to confirm the nomination of Mukasey to AG?

    Political will in America seems at an all time low. The Democrats need to stand firm and fight, but apathy and alienation among American voters will keep the pollsters and pundits feeding them bad tactical advice regarding the perpetual “Upcoming Elections.”

    Did you catch the Republicans voting in support Dennis K.’s proposal to bring charges against the VP? The Democratic ‘leadership’ rallied against the measure in barage of procedural maneuvers; what’s that all about, if not the same middle of the road Onanism?

    Comment by Mprovise — November 10, 2007 @ 11:30 am

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