Krugman sounds much like Stockman in the article posted below. According to Krugman, Obama's assumption was that he could change the way that Washington works. The GOP and the Democrats would come together to deal with the enormous problems that he inherited. I guess he didn't learn much from watching what happened to Clinton after he assumed the presidency. The GOP immediately did everything that it could to discredit the president and his wife in the eyes of its conservative base. Today, Hillary bashing has been replaced by Michelle bashing, and Obama bashing produced calls for impeachment before he was even sworn into office.
The GOP has depended upon a solid South ever since Nixon developed the southern strategy in response to the civil rights movement. Obama's success in several southern states, paralleled Clinton's success. They realized that this could not continue or they would be the minority party again for a long time. The majority party controls all of the congressional committees and, as a result, has greater access to campaign contributions because it has more influence over policy. What we are seeing today is simply the battle to regain control over key committees by becoming the majority party. Fixing our national problems is not a priority.