US rep chided

To the Journal editor:

Here is an open letter to our congressman, U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls.

Do the Republicans think that this is a game? If it were a game, I’d hope that you and your colleagues would continue what you’re doing since the more people who are antagonized by your policies, the more likely that my team will win in the next election.

But this is not a game. The government shutdown was severely hurting individuals, particularly the most vulnerable. People, even those in the private sector, are losing their jobs. And the economy, already shaky, was being severely damaged by the shutdown.

I do not impugn your motives. I’m sure you and many of your Republican colleagues firmly believed that destroying the Affordable Care Act will be worth the pain you’re putting the country through.

But as repugnant as the ACA may be to you, this was not the way to get it repealed or changed. Instead, you and your colleagues should have based your reelection campaigns on a repeal Obama Care platform and present your own plan for resolving America’s health care crisis, which is what the Democrats tried to do with the ACA. If the majority agrees with you, you can use the legislative process to bring about the changes you seek.

In the meantime, I hope you and your Republican colleagues have the backbone and good sense to reject the destructive legislative actions of the extreme right wing members of your party.