Let’s Be Clear: Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal Is A Disgrace, And He Must Resign

We're praying for you, Mike---to get the Hell out.

Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal is refusing to resign his post in the wake of an uproar of his own making. In December, the legislator sent an email to his fellow Republicans asking them to pray Psalm 109,  an unusual and mean-spirited psalm that calls for the death of a leader. The Psalm says, in lines 7-12:

When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.
    Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
    Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
    Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
    Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labor.
    Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favor his fatherless children.’

Speaker  O’Neal suggested the Psalm to his colleagues with this:

“At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!”

As his hateful, dumb and juvenile message has gone viral over the internet, O’Neill is pleading innocence. He says he is sincerely sorry, and that he was only referencing the “days be numbered” line, referring to Obama’s defeat in November.

It won’t wash. “Look it up!” he urged his friends. “Word for word!” We can only presume that O’Neill too had looked up the Psalm and read every word, and not just one line. Whether he intended to suggest President Obama’s death—as he almost certainly did— or only did so carelessly out of recklessness and stupidity really doesn’t matter. Especially in the hyper-partisan and hate-filled atmosphere of politics in 2012, no political leader who invokes images of violence and calls for the death of political adversaries can be tolerated by allies or opponents. To do so against the nation’s President reaches beyond intolerable to unconscionable. America does not need politicians who abuse the concept of prayer to inflame the vengeful and the unstable against the elected leader of our nation. Speaker O’Neill has neatly defined the point where incivility disqualifies an individual from public service, because his presence coarsens and poisons political discourse and makes it useless.

He must resign. Now. Kansas Republicans, if they want to retain any shred of respect and decency, must make him do it. He is a disgrace to his party, his state, and his country.

Note: Earlier this month, O’Neal came under fire for sending another e-mail that compared Michelle Obama to the Grinch and referred to her as “Yo Mama.”

43 thoughts on “Let’s Be Clear: Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal Is A Disgrace, And He Must Resign

  1. I am always partial to Proverbs 10:13 in a case like this.

    Yes, it I shouldn’t have said it, but is this guy that out of it? He actually sent this to everyone, in an e-mail? It would be bad enough to tell it as a bad joke to a few friends, but in an electronic message traceable back to himself? I would give him the credit of the doubt if he said someone hacked or faked his e-mail, this is so wrong.

  2. Well put, Jack. One small quibble: you say he’s “a disgrace to his party, his state, and his country.” He’s sure enough a disgrace to his state, and his country, but let’s see whether his party disowns him. I hope they do, but if they don’t I dont see how you can say he disgraces them. More like he represents them, or at least some of them.

    • Agree with the point, maybe not with the quibble. Wouldn’t you say, for example, the Abu Ghraib abusers disgraced the Armed Forces whether they were courts martialed or not? The question you raise is properly, “O’Neal disgraced the party, now will the party disgrace itself?”

      Where have you been? With all the fireworks here–we could have used the calm, Ethics Bob touch.

      • You got it right about the party–I had it wrong.

        I’m being a grandpa. Hard to get much quality time on a computer for the next week or so. The world’s ethics is all on your shoulders. Hold on, I’ll be back.

  3. This is the Republican run state that has just cut food stamps to American born children of illegal immigrants (to be clear, they are citizens of the U.S.), strategically avoided repealing an anti-sodomy law along with a slew of other outdated laws (even though the Supreme Court has ruled such laws unconstitutional), and the governor has proposed a tax overhaul that would actually lower taxes on the wealthy and raise those of the poor. I would not hold my breath waiting for the Kansas Republican Party to denounce the Speaker.

    • I think those are all non-sequiturs, Jan. Disagreeing with policy intiatives doesn’t make them proof or treasonous or murderous intent—you’re stereotyping. It is not written in the Book of Certainty that all taxes affecting the wealthy should be raised, or that every American, no matter what his or her wealth, should pay something to support the nation he or she lives in. Nor is there a level of food stamp support that is absolutely and unquestionably right…nor is it beyond debate that incentives for illegals to break our laws and cross our borders shouldn’t be reduced or eliminated. Believing that there is wisdom in an old law that most believe is wrong isn’t proof of depravity.

      Praying for the death of the President by a high elected official, however, is per se impermissible, proof of bad character, and borderline treason. It’s not a partisan matter, it’s an individual idiot who should be sent back to running a roadside vegetable stand.

  4. Unusual Psalm indeed. What troubles me most about it is how it seems so malleable for mis-application by all manner of partisans – particularly, the most arrogant and self-righteous among them. You know: like narcissists. (Oh, wait: how all-American! Traitorous me!)

    • That’s a stretch. A huge stretch. A disingenuous bit of finger-pointing does not compare to calling for the death of a sitting President/

      • Chase–I didn’t understand Michael’s comment either. He did say that O’Neal was “no better” than the finger-pointers, which is literally true: he is immeasurably worse. The problem is that I don’t see an obvious connection between asking colleagues to pray for a President’s death and using a tragedy to try to stifle political speech. Since Michael E usually is coherent, I think what he meant to suggest was that O’Neal’s “eliminationist rhetoric” was a genuine example of what critics of Palin, Limbaugh et al. were unfairly accusing them of doing—inciting violence against political adversaries. If he meant that–he’s 100% correct.

  5. Disgraceful! Racism is alive and well and living in Kansas. Does speaker O’Neal feel he can shout biblical passages and people take his word and don’t read them? Shame on you Mr. Speaker.

    • Racism is alive and well and living In AMERICA! This is pure hate against a fellow human being of a different race. .A passage in the Bible also say “How can you say you love me, whom you have never seen and hate your brother whom you see every day….??? Oh, those Zany Bible Belt Christians!!!

  6. I was born here and have lived in this country for 77 years and find too sad for words to find that NOTHING much has changed. There are still the KKKers (whether they admit it or not) out there spreading hate. Will this “Great Country” ever change?

  7. There are presidents I have strongly disagreed with. Never have I believed in calling for their death! Such bigotry comes as no surprise to me, but for an elected official to be so blatant is incomprehensible. Perhaps that Psalm should be directed to the author of the email.

  8. Somewhat of an act of treason as a death threat to the the President of the United States of America. This sort of behavior would not be tolerated with previous Presidents or in other countries. No apology can undo these unkind words. He needs to step down as a traitor to the country and to President Obama

    • I wholeheartedly agree. Treason at it’s best. If someone made that threat against Reagon or the Bushes they would have been strung up already. Get a life. He MUST be a lingering member of the KKK.
      I don’t agree with everything Obama has done during his time in office, however, look at what he’s had (and whom he’s had) to work with. I’m tired of the infighting and the inability to “agree to disagree without being disagreeable”. He’s a hated man that is keeping his head up while keeping his enemies close.
      Enough of the hatred. This type of talk inevitably breeds more hatred and unwanted actions by the crazy zealots out there.
      I simply and continually pray for him and his family. Because They are out there….probably plotting now.

  9. Absolutely a disgrace and to think you are responsible for just and positive role model for our youth and many others. You are unworthy of serving the public. This goes well beyond freedom of speech – we all must have a moral conscious.

  10. I cannot believe that this man is still in office and trust me because of the hate you have in your heart you will be the one who will experience what you want done to the President of this United State of America – President Barak Obama. I cannot understan how you can hate someone just because of the color of their skin. You dummy, you seem to forget that God Almighty is the one who choose that we, and yes I am a black Christian woman for myself and our president to have the color which we have upon our skin. Why don’t you just go crawl up under a rock and make the world a better place you stupid excuse for a child behavior you’re not a man but a child. Just you go away. Amen Amen Amen

  11. While this is nothing new, the fear I have is that someone with a simple mind will actually try to make this happen. This man cannot call himself a child of God making requests like this. Its certainly a show of disrespect for the Office of the President, but more importantly the sin of asking God to do harm to his children and wife and to this nation. I remmber the saddness the death of President Kennedy caused this nation, can you imagine the hurt and the uproar the desth of President Obama would cause? I pray every day for the safety and protection of our President and his family and hope that many, many more will do likewise. It will be interesting to see what the population of Kansas will do in the wake of this statements.

  12. As a 50yr old, professional, black man, I am not in the least bit surprised. I encounter racism and bigotry on a consistent basis. True, it is not as overt as it once was, but it rears its ugly head just the same. What is surprising, is the fact that it surprises so many when it’s blatant. Just because it resides in the ‘gray area’ makes no difference, it still lives. We, AMERICANS, have come a long way and still have a ways to go, but stop kidding yourselves thinking we’re all on an equal plain. The great people of Kansas knew/know who their elected officials are……………maybe not, but some sure did.

    • Bruce, you’ll have to explain to me why the Speaker’s words are racist. He may be a racist, but there is nothing in the story that indicates that. Many democrats were openly wishing for the death of George Bush—there was even a play about it. The Speaker’s words were disgusting and bordering on treason, but you can’t be arguing that they must be racist just because their target is African-American…or are you?

      • Wow, really?…….You sincerely believe all of the grief, including this, that the Prez gets is political? REALLY!!!. Again, I say WOW!!!!

        • A sample sign from anti-Bush protestsHuh? You want names? We all saw and heard the statements for eight years…on blog posts, from “comedians, statements from actors. I don’t recall any from elected officials—so what? My point is that this kind of over the top hate directed at a President has nothing to do with race.—and it doesn’t.

            • No, he’s worse, BECAUSE he is an elected official. Which is why he should be kicked out. Immediately.

              My point in mentioning the Democrats is that the rhetoric, disgraceful as it is, cannot be automatically attributed to racism, as Bruce assumes. Wishing a white president dead is just extreme partisanship, but wishing a black one dead is racism? Sorry–I don’t accept those rules, without some hard evidence.

              • By the way, Rep Waters calling the GOP leadership “demons” is only marginally better. I don’t think that’s racism…I think it’s irresponsible and arguably dangerous. On TV, they kill demons. Calling for Waters to be sanctioned and censored, however, undoubtedly makes one a racist. Right, Bruce?

                • Jack, before I even thought about posting, I read every post, trying to get a feel for the discussion. I must have missed the mark, because I thought ‘common sense’ was an equal part of the dialogue. Please don’t think I’m attacking you, I’m not. You appear to be a very intelligent person. There are just some ‘givens’ I thought were in play. Separate yourself from the analytical and look at His Presidency as a whole in what he has had to deal with on and off the court. And tell me that this and all the other ‘stuff’ is of a political nature……..
                  I think you are a very insightful person, but things aren’t so black and white………more of a grayish tent.

                  • Intelligent and fair people may and do disagree on President Obama’s leadership and effectiveness. Make no mistake: I am sure there are many opponents of the president for whom race is a prime factor, just as I know there are many African Americans who support him fervently when if the same President with the same record was white, they would not. My only point is that the mere fact of strong, even vicious opposition doesn’t prove racism. My academic training was in leadership, particularly American presidential leadership. I think Obama is temperamentally and philosophically unsuited for the role; I think he has been an objective disaster at the worst possible time for the country, and that his leadership has lacked persuasiveness, integrity, diligence, and skill. Whether I am right or not isn’t the point: it’s an opinion based on study and analysis, not bias and bigotry. If the administration were an unequivocal success, then suspecting critics of bigotry has some justification. Since that is not the case, leaping to the conclusion that even an ass like O’Neal must be a bigot is unfair, without more.

                    • Hey Jack, I was correct in thinking you are as smart and persuasive as I imagined. The beauty of having an intelligent conversation, with the ability to agree to disagree is the mark of true grown-up. I respect your opinion, agree in some parts, ‘dis’ on others, but that’s OK too. I agree that He had inherited a mess, but I don’t think anyone else could have done better with what He was working with. Given the choices we, the American People, had, I believe President Obama was/is the right Man for the job. I certainly don’t see a qualified GOP’er anywhere in sight, do you?

                    • Beside the point. I’m not talking politics, though I will sometimes discuss policy—you won’t see me backing a horse in this race on the blog, just handicapping the ethics and the leadership skills of the candidates running. Thanks for your kind assessment; that’s my intention, and sometimes I succeed.

  13. This O’Neal guy need to resign,and go straight
    too Hell. Any one with this much hatred in thier
    heart need to go to Hell,like today.

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