Liveblogging History: January 17, 1961: Eisenhower

Monday Smackdown: Hoisted from Fifteen Years Ago: Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'

The Onion: Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over': "WASHINGTON, DC–Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton...

...president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that 'our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over.' 'My fellow Americans,' Bush said, 'at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us.'... During the 40-minute speech, Bush... promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years. 'You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration,' said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. 'Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?'...

Turning to the subject of the environment, Bush said he will do whatever it takes to undo the tremendous damage not done by the Clinton Administration to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He assured citizens that he will follow through on his campaign promise to open the 1.5 million acre refuge's coastal plain to oil drilling. As a sign of his commitment to bringing about a change in the environment, he pointed to his choice of Gale Norton for Secretary of the Interior. Norton, Bush noted, has 'extensive experience' fighting environmental causes, working as a lobbyist for lead-paint manufacturers and as an attorney for loggers and miners, in addition to suing the EPA to overturn clean-air standards.

Bush had equally high praise for Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft, whom he praised as 'a tireless champion in the battle to protect a woman's right to give birth. Soon, with John Ashcroft's help, we will move out of the Dark Ages and into a more enlightened time when a woman will be free to think long and hard before trying to fight her way past throngs of protesters blocking her entrance to an abortion clinic,' Bush said. 'We as a nation can look forward to lots and lots of babies.' Continued Bush: 'John Ashcroft will be invaluable in healing the terrible wedge President Clinton drove between church and state.'

The speech was met with overwhelming approval from Republican leaders. 'Finally, the horrific misrule of the Democrats has been brought to a close,' House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told reporters. 'Under Bush, we can all look forward to military aggression, deregulation of dangerous, greedy industries, and the defunding of vital domestic social-service programs upon which millions depend. Mercifully, we can now say goodbye to the awful nightmare that was Clinton's America.' 'For years, I tirelessly preached the message that Clinton must be stopped,' conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said. 'And yet, in 1996, the American public failed to heed my urgent warnings, re-electing Clinton despite the fact that the nation was prosperous and at peace under his regime. But now, thank God, that's all done with. Once again, we will enjoy mounting debt, jingoism, nuclear paranoia, mass deficit, and a massive military build-up.'...

Bush concluded his speech on a note of healing and redemption.

'We as a people must stand united, banding together to tear this nation in two,' Bush said. 'Much work lies ahead of us: The gap between the rich and the poor may be wide, be there's much more widening left to do. We must squander our nation's hard-won budget surplus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 15 percent. And, on the foreign front, we must find an enemy and defeat it. The insanity is over,' Bush said. 'After a long, dark night of peace and stability, the sun is finally rising again over America. We look forward to a bright new dawn not seen since the glory days of my dad.'