A Republican friend asked me how I felt, as a Democrat, about President Barack Obama losing the battle over the federal government shutdown. This is definitely where perception loses versus reality.
The polls and American people don't show the president losing the battle with House Republicans, who are also threatening an unprecedented default on America's national debt. Clearly the American people are losing - " and they blame the GOP. In poll after poll, even Republicans blame the GOP. Fellow Republican leaders are saying the Republican approach has been strategically stupid, and was always destined to lose. Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer called the House GOP the "suicide caucus".
According to polls, there are 24 Republican-held House districts that Democrats would have a good chance of winning if the election were held today. And the Democrats need only 17 seats to take over the House.
If the Republicans continue to bow to the tea party god, they'll lose the next two elections, at least. That combined with their neglect of the needs of a growing population of voters - Hispanics, women and African-Americans - means Democrats will have a serious political advantage over the next decade, and beyond.
When I refer to Hilary Clinton as our president, I'm not just being hopeful. I'm predicting the outcome.
The Republican Party is too divided. The infighting is not only hurting them, but their constituents and the political process. I hope when many House Republicans lose their jobs down the road, they will have felt this utterly futile fight over defunding the Affordable Care Act was worth it.
Leslie Marshall is a nationally-syndicated talk show host (M-F 7-10p.m. EST). She regularly appears on Fox News, including the O'Reilly Factor, and Hannity. She's been named one of The Magazine's 50 most influential women. Follow her on Twitter at @LeslieMarshall.