On this, the final Festivus Eve of this decade... one is just never quite sure what to call the first decade of the new century/millenium... from 2000 to 2009... obviously, the decade ("the aughties"? the "2000's?" the zero's?) has a personal significance to each of us...
Still, on a macro-scale, I find it difficult to argue with Juan Cole's assessment that it was basically "The Bush Decade," and as such, it sucked. Bush himself was more of a stand-in for the aspirations of the already rich and powerful to suck up whatever means of production and wealth they didn't already own and control... and as such, Juan's perverse "top ten list" makes one cringe with recognition.
The most miserable recognition of all, unstated by Juan so I'll say it, is that while the Bush/Cheney era was peculiarly toxic, it was largely amplifying trends already well in motion (and largely accelerating in the Clinton years), and the corporate interests (that's simply "very rich people") largely have had their way no matter which political party held nominal power, and why the departure of that loathsome parasite known as the Bush Administration on our body-politic... probably won't matter too much...
Let's face it, the election of Obama isn't going to change very much (as we have seen with something as simple as relocating 200 or so mostly acknowledged as innocent men from a gulag officially under his direct command), as even if Obama actually wants to do something
his our corporate masters don't like (and, btw, it's not clear to me Obama isn't delighted with the whole police-state thing)... it simply won't happen. So imagine genuine health or welfare or environmental reform, let alone electoral reform or the restoration of progressive taxation.
Why? Because of the genius of turning our Constitutional structire on its head, via the brilliant tie-in of racism to get Southern and Midwestern regional lower- and lower-middle-class White voters to consistently support the interests of the plutocracy (despite the clear detrimental nature of policies favoring the rich to lower- and lower-middle class people's own interests). That tie-in has permitted the leveraging of the already absurd veto points in our system... and voila... nothing happens that the corporate interests don't want, and with simple appeals to racism [duly coded, of course, as "God-fearing, family values"], there is always enough juice to defeat any actual social reform.
Besides...many Americans are simply stupid, and have no idea what their interests actually are. And since our forbears were energetic enough to place us in a dominant economic, political and military position, we're likely to take that stupidity all the way toward rendering human civilization unviable on this planet, and we'll certainly make things far, far less comfortable. But I'll agree with Juan that it all came to the fore in the '00's, under the banner of George W. Bush, and he and his minions brilliantly played every angle to seize and then hold power... though again, I assert that his reign was a matter of degree... the trends were already in place, and lest we forget, Democrats merrily supported the sacred Bush tax cuts that were the underpinning of much of the rest of the crappy decade, such as happily going along with virtually every police state measure that came down the pike in the aftermath of the 9-11 attack that Bush's minions failed to take any effort to prevent in the first place.
Well... on a macro-scale, a decade that left much to be desired, not the least of which is the fact that we'll be paying for it one way or another at least for the rest of our own natural lives. This has been... "Good riddance, 'aughties."