Ah, but things change, sometimes for the better. With Big John Boehner as the GOP leader in the House, the Republicans will now have to something besides say no. They'll have to actually legislate, which is a lot harder than simply objecting to the president and his initiatives.
Beyond that, the shootings last week in Tucson changed the political climate, putting the Right on the defensive and giving the president an opportunity to lead, which he did. His speech this week in Tucson was widely hailed for its eloquence and tone.
The Washington Post has assessed the new political reality:
In the aftermath of the Tucson shootings, which prompted a national outpouring of criticism of the harsh tone of the nation's political discourse, the GOP confronts a political environment that has changed dramatically…. Obama, who appeared weakened and on the defensive in the days after the midterm elections, has emerged as a stronger and more resilient adversary than Republicans anticipated just 10 weeks ago.