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解雇科米,特朗普的大昏招

更新时间:2017-5-16 11:31:53 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Donald Trump à la Mode
解雇科米,特朗普的大昏招

You heard it here first: James Comey was fired because during his White House dinner with Donald Trump, when dessert arrived, he noticed that the president had two scoops of ice cream to his one, and dared to remark on it.

不妨先听听这个:詹姆斯·科米(James Comey)之所以被解职,是因为在白宫与唐纳德·特朗普共进晚餐期间,当甜点被端上来的时候,他注意到总统有两勺冰淇淋,而自己只有一勺,并且胆敢对此说三道四。

Don’t believe me? O.K., I did make it up. But it’s as credible a claim as most of what came from White House officials, going all the way up to Vice President Mike Pence, in the hours after Trump canned Comey last week.

不相信我的话?好吧。这的确是我编的。但在可信程度上,它与上至副总统迈克·彭斯(Mike Pence)的白宫官员的不少说法可谓半斤八两——特朗普上周炒掉科米没过几个小时,这些说法就传了出来。

Pretty much every reason they gave was utterly dismantled, if not by F.B.I. agents, who rejected the contention that they had turned on Comey, then by enterprising reporters or by the president himself in his interview with NBC’s Lester Holt. Seldom has an administration operated in such a transparently dishonest, determinedly self-destructive and spectacularly inept fashion. That ineptness may be the scariest takeaway of all.

白宫官员给出的几乎每个理由都遭到了彻底的驳斥,跟他们唱对台戏的除了联邦调查局(FBI)探员——驳回了他们对科米的指控——还有颇具胆识的记者,以及接受NBC的莱斯特·霍尔特(Lester Holt)采访时的总统本人。很少有哪届政府在行事过程中会呈现出如此明目张胆的不诚实、毅然决然的自毁倾向以及令人惊诧的无能风格。这种无能也许是最为骇人的。

I began with ice cream because it really is central to understanding this. Bear with me. Two days after Comey’s ouster, Time magazine published a cover story that revolved around a recent evening that a few of its journalists spent with Trump at the White House.

我在文章开头谈到冰淇淋,是因为它对理解这一点至关重要。请容我解释。科米被解职两天后,《时代》(Time)发表了一篇封面文章,描述的是该杂志的几名记者最近在白宫与特朗普共度的一个晚上。

Dinner was served. Trump got a different, more colorful salad dressing than theirs. His chicken had extra sauce on the side. With his pie came a double helping of vanilla. With theirs, a single. By the magazine’s account, there was no explanation. None was needed. He’s the president and you’re not.

晚餐上桌。特朗普的色拉酱与他们的不同,更丰富多彩。他的鸡肉边上放着额外的酱汁。他的馅饼配有双份的香草球。而他们的馅饼只配有一份。按照《时代》的描述,没人对此做出解释。也不需要解释。他是总统,而你们不是。

One scoop of imperiousness. Another of insecurity. Top generously with impulsiveness. That’s Trump’s sweet spot, the real driver of his decisions. Comey’s dismissal was the definitive confirmation. It satisfied the president’s emotional appetite, at least at that moment. It undermined all else.

一勺专横。加一勺不安全感。再加上大大的一勺冲动。这就是特朗普偏爱的甜品,也是他做决定时的真正驱动力。科米被解职提供了确凿的证据。它满足了总统的情感需求,至少在那一刻是如此。它破坏了其他所有的一切。

And it put the lie to the stubborn hope that there’s a core of shrewdness beneath his antics and a method to his madness. Mostly, there’s a raging, pouting child.

此外,它让一种偏执的希望显出了虚妄:一些人总是希望他古怪的言行包裹着精明的内核,希望他疯狂的举止自有其道理。但基本上,他只是一个肆无忌惮的撅着嘴的孩子。

For all of the negative news coverage that he receives, there has also been a strand of analysis that insisted on, or at least sought, a silver lining to the golden-haired huckster. It reflected all the rationalizations that I heard from Americans who had voted for Trump or were willing themselves to see some upside to his election:

尽管关于他的负面新闻不计其数,还是有一群人坚持认为,或者至少是试图指出,这个一头金发的商贩有好的一面。此种看法折射出我从投票给特朗普或乐于在他的当选中看到某种好处的美国人那里听到的种种合理化假设:

The tweets weren’t merely splenetic. They were strategic, providing distractions when he needed them most. He was amoral, sure, but that was part and parcel of his craftiness, which could do the country some good. He was a liar, yes, but the best deals and the bent truth often went hand in hand — and he was a deal maker above all. He flouted norms, but that might be precisely the purgative our politics needed.

他的推文绝不仅仅是恶狠狠的发泄。它们带有战略意图,在他最需要的时候帮助转移世人的注意力。的确,他不受道德约束,但这只是其狡黠品性的一部分,对这个国家有好处。没错,他说过谎,但最划算的交易和被扭曲的事实常常密不可分——最重要的是,他非常善于达成交易。他无视规则,但那或许恰恰是我们的政坛所需要的泻药。

Commentators strained to spot and savor any flicker of something more dignified. Remember the accolades for his address to a joint session of Congress? All he’d done was the commander in chief equivalent of chewing with his mouth closed.

评论员们奋力地观察和咂摸任何相对体面的闪光点。还记得他在国会一个联席会议上发表的讲话所获得的赞誉吗?身为最高统帅的他所做的事情,基本相当于普通人闭着嘴咀嚼食物。

But no sugarcoating can survive the developments of the past few weeks. Congress approved a budget agreement at stark odds with Trump’s wish list, revealing that he’s no ace negotiator after all. It could have been titled “The Artlessness of the Deal.”

但过去两周的事态进展让所有糖衣全部剥落。国会达成了一项与特朗普的愿望清单相去甚远的预算协议,表明他根本不是一流谈判者。协议的标题或许可以取为“交易之无艺术可言”(The Artlessness of the Deal)。

The House passed health care legislation that blatantly contradicted his incessant promises of terrific, inexpensive coverage and betrayed the hard-luck Americans whose champion he purported to be. The Senate made clear that it was going nowhere anyway.

众议院通过的医疗法案,与他不断做出的关于提供了不起的廉价医保的承诺背道而驰,让他声称要捍卫的那些不走运的美国人遭到了背叛。

He’s not coming to anyone’s rescue, just giving the Trump-Kushner clan a loftier status and more leverage for enriching themselves. He’s not draining the swamp. He’s globalizing it.

他并非前来拯救任何人,而是要让特朗普-库什纳一族拥有更崇高的地位和用以中饱私囊的更多筹码。他不是在抽干沼泽,而是推动着它向全球拓展。

And to top it all off: the Comey fiasco, which will be remembered as a case study in misjudging a situation, mismanaging the easily foreseeable fallout and achieving the exact opposite of one’s aims. If this is private-sector savvy, give me a bloated government bureaucracy any day.

更糟糕的是解雇科米的大昏招,此事将作为一个研究案例被铭记,让世人知道什么是误判形势、对容易预见的后果处置不当以及事与愿违。如果这就是私营部门的精明头脑,请随时赐予我一个臃肿的政府官僚机构。

Trump reportedly thought that Democrats, so sour on Comey themselves, wouldn’t balk at his exile. No way. Trump’s aides tried to use a hastily composed memo by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as cover. Big oops.

据报道,特朗普本以为极不待见科米的民主党人不会抗拒将其解雇。绝不可能。特朗普的助手们试图以司法部副部长罗德·罗森斯坦(Rod Rosenstein)匆忙炮制的备忘录为幌子。大错特错。

With no media plan in place, they tripped over their own inventions and exaggerations. And Trump bumbled into a horrendously timed photograph of an all-smiles meeting of him in the Oval Office with the Russian ambassador and foreign minister.

他们在媒体宣传策划没到位的情况下,被自己的虚构和夸张之辞绊倒在地。而特朗普选择了一个极为糟糕的时机,在椭圆形办公室内亲切友好地会见俄罗斯大使和外交部长,并以照片形式呈现给公众。

Please show me the shrewdness in any of that, or in a tweet on Friday that ratcheted up his battle with Comey — who, mind you, has seen any and all evidence of Russian meddling in the election and left behind many loyalists in the bureau. For a president paranoid about the leakiness of his ship, this was like making a beeline for the nearest iceberg.

请告诉我,从这张照片,或上周五的一则让他和科米之间的争斗愈演愈烈的推文中,能看出一丝一毫的精明吗?提个醒,科米看到了俄罗斯人干预美国大选的所有证据,而且联邦调查局里留有他的很多忠实追随者。对于一名总怀疑船漏了的总统而言,这样做无异于径直撞向最近的冰山。

Please show me the strategic wisdom in threatening to cancel White House press briefings because Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders can’t be expected to achieve “perfect accuracy” at the rostrum. None of us are asking for “perfect accuracy.” Mere plausibility would wow us at this point. And the farther away the media is kept, the more we’re convinced that something is being hidden from us, and the harder we dig.

请告诉我,因为觉得肖恩·斯派塞(Sean Spicer)和萨拉·赫卡比·桑德斯(Sarah Huckabee Sanders)在台上不可能“百分百准确无误”地传递信息,就扬言要取消白宫新闻发布会,有什么战略智慧可言?没有谁要求“百分百准确无误”。此时此刻,单是听起来有道理就足以让我们欢呼了。此外,媒体越是被远远地阻隔在门外,我们就越是相信有人在对我们隐藏什么,并越发努力地挖掘真相。

Trump wanted to move past all the insinuations of collusion between his campaign and Moscow, but the attention to that has only intensified, as have the accusations of a cover-up. We already knew that the president had no shame. Now we also know that he has no game.

特朗普想要抛开关于他的竞选团队和莫斯科相勾结的种种含沙射影的说法,但外界对此反而更加关注,关于掩人耳目的指控也愈演愈烈。我们已经知道总统没有羞耻心。现在我们又知道他毫无权谋。

He handed Democrats yet another cudgel. He tightened the bind that Republicans are in (though their sustained indulgence of him remains a thing of absolute wonder). He lengthened the odds against getting much in the way of meaningful legislation done.

他为民主党人奉上了另一根大棒。他让共和党人所处的困境更加恶劣(不过他们对他长久以来的沉迷,仍然是一种终极的奇迹)。他降低了借助富有意义的立法行动取得重大成果的可能性。

He looked defensive, not decisive. He shrank, just when it didn’t seem possible for him to get any smaller.

他看上去很有戒心,而不是有决断力。他在看似不可能显得更加渺小之际变得愈发渺小。

He’s 70, but if we’re talking about deeds and not digits, psychological maturity instead of epidermal sag, he’s our youngest president ever, with the frailest ego. Aides feed him his information in easily digested bites: pictures, charts. They whisper sweet grandiosities in his ear. They devise strategies to shield him from upset and work around his ever-shifting moods. They cross their fingers and they tremble.

他今年70岁,但只看言行举止而非年龄,心理成熟度而非皮肤上的皱褶,他是美国有史以来最年轻的总统,有着最脆弱的自我。助手们借助图片和表格等容易理解的工具来为他一点一点地提供信息。他们往他的耳朵里猛灌甜美的赞歌。他们会制定一些旨在防止他心烦意乱的策略,并在开展工作时竭力不受他变幻莫测的情绪的影响。他们双手合十,瑟瑟发抖。

So do I. And when I picture him at that Time magazine dinner, with a portion bigger than anybody else’s, I don’t see him on a throne. I see him in a highchair, keeping his audience guessing about just how much ice cream he’ll fling against the wall.

我也是如此。另外,当我想象他与《时代》杂志记者共进晚餐,面前摆放着比别人更丰盛的食物的情形时,我看到的不是王座上的他。我看到他坐在一把小孩吃饭时用的高脚椅里,让周围的人不断猜测,他会把多少冰淇凌扔到墙上。

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