Maybe it seemed like a good idea at the time.

They couldn't accomplish it any other way, so a small group of Republican House members hatched a plan this summer to hold the federal government hostage until Congress cut off funding for the Affordable Care Act.

Crazy, yes; reckless, of course.

But could it really work?

Of course not, but what a statement -- just the kind their bases eat up.

Surely, someone more rational would take the matches away before they set themselves and the rest of the nation on fire.

Imagine their surprise.

So here in the second week of their government shutdown, let's not forget the Republicans who orchestrated this train wreck, especially since one of them is our very own Rep. Scott Perry.

In August, Perry was one of 80 Republicans who signed a letter urging House Speaker John Boehner to link defunding the health care law with the appropriations bill that would have kept the federal government in business.

Perry says the issue isn't just about dismantling the health care law, "for me, the issue is spending."

He acknowledges the tactic had no chance of success, considering the Senate would never go along and the president would surely veto it if it ever reached his desk.

Perry's intent was never to shut down the government and disrupt the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans, he said.

He simply supported a tactic -- and then voted for it -- to send the Senate a spending bill he admitted was dead on arrival.


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If the government shut down because the Senate wouldn't cave to a small minority of House Republicans, that's not his fault, is it?

Yes.

It is.

It's called cause and effect, congressman.

You added your name to that letter, and you got exactly what it asked for.

Unfortunately, so did the rest of us.

Spin as much as you like, but your constituents will judge you by your actions.

And right now your actions are shameful.

Prove us wrong.

Sign a letter to Boehner urging the speaker to end this nonsense. Call for an up or down vote and a clean spending bill to get our country running again.

Not enough votes, even with the responsible Republicans who have already said they'd support it?

There's one very easy way to find out. Put it to a vote.

Please also include in that letter your desire that Boehner absolutely not double down on this mess by threatening to default on our national debt in a few weeks. Tell him those making that suggestion are dangerous radicals who should be ostracized, not accommodated.

Once everyone is safely off the ledge, then Congress can get to work on those important policy issues that might -- or might not -- be what this fiasco is all about.

Maybe this is a spending issue for you, congressman, and not about killing an established law -- approved by Congress, signed by the president and upheld by the Supreme Court -- that will provide affordable health care to millions in this country.

But you did sign the letter, and four days into your shutdown you told a crowd of local Republicans that opposing "Obamacare" is "a mission to save our nation."

Mr. Perry, leave the cape and tights in the closet, and please stop.

We're not sure if the country can take much more of your "saving."