Rahm Emmanuel was heard this morning to say “anybody in Washington who ignores the voters plays peril with those types of politics.”
If you do something dangerous you may be playing with fire, at your own peril. But Emmanuel seems to have collapsed the two expressions together.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms,“play with fire” is an expression dating back to the mid-17th century. The Oxford English Dictionary says “at one’s peril” to mean “at one’s own risk” dates from two centuries earlier.