Krugman locates the problem in the soul. I locate it in dementia, the kind that comes on in the elderly as they lose brain function due to one of several potential causes, and in the evil and demented people who manipulate the elderly for their own sick purposes. As dementia takes hold the person loses their soul.
I was struck by the elderly nature of the GOP during the 2012 Republican National Convention. The people gathered there seem strangely very elderly, and many are likely afflicted with the first stages of Alzheimer's or other dementias.
If you've experienced a loved one's mental decline in old age, you notice a loss of short-term memory and personality changes. What else can explain the Republican's constant change of position and inattention to detail? They no longer have the ability to remember things or they confabulate.
More worrisome, though are personality changes. A once loving and optimistic person becomes spiteful and fearful. In my mother's case, it resulted in her being increasingly fearful and anxious about people. In the political arena, this resolved into her being very manipulable by people who were pushing hateful anti-immigration ideas in order to pry money out of her.
The Republican Party used to be a forward looking party. Now they resemble a Memory Unit in an Assisted Living facility---everyone is wandering around in the haze of messed up synapses creating bitter and paranoid confabulation. Death would be a blessing.