Donald Trump, Middle-School President
Any parent who has had children in middle school is familiar with their teenage excuses. First, they complain that the teachers are mean and assign too much homework, then that the reading is boring, and then when all else fails, they give you that aggrieved look and whine, “It’s tooooo haaaaard.”
The point is that whatever happens, it’s someone else’s fault.
It’s annoying when it comes from a 13-year-old. When it comes from the president of the United States and his team, it’s downright terrifying.
In a chilling article in The Times this week, Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman described President Trump’s Keystone Kops White House where aides meet in the dark because they can’t figure out how to use the light switches (setting them to “on” might be worth trying), and Trump wanders around his living quarters in his bathrobe watching CNN and obsessing about how mean everyone is to him.
在《纽约时报》本周发表的一篇令人不寒而栗的文章中，格伦·思拉什(Glenn Thrush)和玛吉·哈伯曼(Maggie Haberman)描述了特朗普总统的白宫，简直如同“基斯通警察”(Keystone Kops)系列默片一般。助手们在黑暗中会面，因为他们搞不清楚如何操作电灯开关（把它们设置为“开”或许值得一试），特朗普穿着浴袍在他的生活区走来走去，收看CNN，满心想着为什么所有人都对他这么刻薄。
When his executive order putting Steve Bannon into the top circle of the National Security Council drew howls of protest, Trump got mad — because, Thrush and Haberman reported, he had not been fully briefed on the order before he signed it.
他那条让史蒂夫·班农(Steve Bannon)跻身国家安全委员会(National Security Council)高层的政令引来愤怒的抗议，这令特朗普大为光火——思拉什和哈伯曼的报道称，这是因为在签署这项政令之前，他并没有得到有关它的详细汇报。
Not fully briefed? Didn’t Trump think he should at least have a conversation about the ramifications of setting aside a seat in the Situation Room for a purely political aide with no known national security credentials? (And no, Bannon’s seven years as a junior Navy officer do not amount to national security expertise.) Did Bannon just write the order himself without telling Trump what was in it?
Apparently there was not sufficient discussion of the anti-Muslim refugee and visa ban, either. Maybe the White House got overloaded with math homework or finding the light switches and couldn’t get to it. Nor was there time to discuss an order that gave the Central Intelligence Agency the power to go back into the “black site” prison business, or one that rolled back protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. (The first was revised and the second, apparently, scrapped.)
显然，针对反穆斯林难民和签证禁令，也没有足够的讨论。白宫可能是因为忙着做数学作业，又或者是因为忙着找开关，无暇顾及此事。他们也没时间讨论一项赋予中央情报局(Central Intelligence Agency)权力、使之重操“黑监狱”旧业的政令，没时间讨论那条逐渐结束对女同性恋、男同性恋、双性恋和跨性别美国人保护的政令。（前者是被修订，后者显然被废除了。）
Now, we learn from the Times article, Reince Priebus has had the brilliant idea of actually looping the president in on the creation of executive orders and not just leaving the job to Bannon and to the White House policy director, Stephen Miller. There will be a 10-stage process for vetting such orders that will include thinking about how to communicate them to the public. It’s quite an innovation, except that it was standard procedure in previous administrations.
现在，我们从时报那篇文章得知，雷恩斯·普利巴斯(Reince Priebus)想出了这个绝妙的主意，让总统参与这些政令的制定，而不是只把这项工作交给班农，以及白宫政策主管史蒂芬·米勒(Stephen Miller)。现在审查这样的政令需要经过十项程序，其中包括考虑如何将它们传达给大众。这真是一项创新，只不过在之前的政府里它可是一项标准程序。
But it may make it harder for Trump to blame other people for his own problems, as he did when he attacked the federal judiciary over his visa ban, which presumably sets the stage for blaming the judges if there is a terrorist attack in the future. In the same spirit, Trump’s failure to win a majority in the national popular vote apparently was the fault of illegal immigrants and dead people.
The juvenile whining reached a crescendo during the one-hour argument this week in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which is considering whether to allow the visa and refugee ban to go into effect while legal challenges proceed.
青少年式的抱怨在本周于联邦第九巡回上诉法院(United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit)进行的一小时辩论中达到了高潮，该法院正在考虑是否在法律质询进行期间允许签证和难民禁令生效。
At one point, a judge asked for evidence that the visa ban would actually make the government safer, and the government’s lawyer, August Flentje, responded with the “it’s too hard” dodge. He told the judges that the government had not had a chance to present evidence because “these proceedings have been moving quite fast, and we’re doing the best we can.”
Why hadn’t the administration gathered evidence to support its claim before issuing the visa ban?
Trump was back on Twitter on Wednesday morning attacking the appellate court judges — an astonishing attempt by a president to interfere in the judicial process. “If the U.S. does not win this case as it so obviously should, we can never have the security and safety to which we are entitled,” Trump said.
The logic of that eludes me. If Trump loses this case, he’ll pick up his marbles and go home and not try anything else to keep America safe? He’ll hold his breath until he turns blue? Or will he just pass notes around to all the other eighth graders about how mean the teachers are?