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白宫里下一个要被羞辱的是谁?

更新时间:2017-6-14 19:07:39 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Mortification of Jeff Sessions
白宫里下一个要被羞辱的是谁?

The appearance of Jeff Sessions before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday didn’t bring us much closer to understanding what did or didn’t happen between Donald Trump and the Russians, or what the president has or hasn’t done to cover it up. Sessions batted away many questions. His answers to others were gauzy and useless.

杰夫·塞申斯(Jeff Sessions) 本周二在参议院情报委员会的证词并没有加深我们对特朗普和俄罗斯人之间发生了或没有发生什么、做了或没有做什么来掩盖这些事的了解。塞申斯回避了很多问题。对于除此之外的其他问题,他的回答也是毫无价值,没什么用处。

But as I watched him, a flustered Gump in the headlights, I saw a broader story, a dark parable of bets misplaced and souls under siege. This is what happens when you draw too close to Trump.

但是当我看着他犹如被车头灯直射而心生慌乱的阿甘时,我看到的是一个更大的故事,一个关于押错的赌注和被困灵魂的黑暗寓言。当你跟特朗普走得太近,就会发生这样的事情。

You’re diminished at best, mortified at worst. You’ve either done work dirtier than you meant to or told fibs bigger than you ought to or been sullied by contact or been thrown to the wolves.

最好的情况是遭贬,最糟的则是受辱。你要么干了比你所说的要肮脏的工作,撒了不该撒的大谎,要么就是近墨者黑,或者被扔进了狼群。

One day, you’re riding high on the myth of Trump as a transformative figure and reasoning that some tweaking of norms and maybe even breaking of rules are an inevitable part of the unconventional equation.

头一天,你还作为一个变革性的人物在特朗普神话中节节攀升,觉得打擦边球甚至违反规则是非常规方程式的一个必然组成部分。

The next, you’re ensnared in his recklessness, at the mercy of his tempestuousness and quite possibly the butt of his rage: the case with Sessions, who sank low enough that he felt compelled last month to offer Trump his resignation.

第二天,你就卡在了他的鲁莽轻率之中,成为其激动情绪的牺牲品,而且很有可能成为他的撒气包:塞申斯就是个例子,他跌落下去,以至于上个月他感觉不得不向特朗普提交辞呈。

“It’s just like through the looking glass: What is this?” Sessions said during his Senate testimony, and while he was alluding to the suggestion that he and the Russian ambassador had plotted together to steal a presidential election, he could just as easily have been referring to the warped topography of Trumplandia.

“这就像是透过镜子看事情:这个是什么?”塞申斯在参议院的听证会上说,虽然这是在暗指他和俄罗斯大使一起策划左右总统大选的说法,但用这句话来形容特朗普国度的反常状况也非常合适。

It’s a reputation-savaging place. Ask Rod Rosenstein for sure. Herbert McMaster, too. Also James Mattis. Sean Spicer. Reince Priebus. Rex Tillerson. Dan Coats. All have been under pressure, undercut or contradicted. They’ve been asked to pledge their fidelity to — even proclaim their adoration for — a man who adores only himself.

这是一个毁坏名誉的地方。问问罗德·罗森斯坦(Rod Rosenstein)就知道了。还有赫伯特·麦克马斯特(Herbert McMaster)、詹姆斯·马蒂斯(James Mattis)、肖恩·斯派塞(Sean Spicer)、雷恩斯·普利巴斯(Reince Priebus)、雷克斯·蒂勒森(Rex Tillerson)和丹·科茨(Dan Coats)。这些人都承受着压力、背后捅刀和矛盾之辞。他们被要求向一个只崇拜自己的人表忠心——甚至要把对他的崇敬广而告之。

My God, that video, the one of the cabinet in full session at long last. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s the most chilling measure yet of Trump’s narcissism, and it’s a breathtaking glimpse into what that means for the people around him.

天哪,终于说到全体内阁会议的那个视频。我从没见过那样的景象。这是特朗普的孤芳自赏最令人毛骨悚然的表现,也让人得以惊窥这对于在他身边工作的人来说意味着什么。

They don’t volunteer purplish flattery like that because it’s their wont. He wants it so badly that they cough it up. To buoy his ego, they debase themselves, and what you heard them doing in that meeting wasn’t just swallowing their pride but choking on it. They looked like hostages — hostages in need of the Heimlich.

他们并非因为有这样的习惯才主动那样去大肆奉承。是他太想听好话,他们才迫而为之。为了提升他的自尊,他们自降身价,他们在那场会议上所做的不只是咽下自尊,而是被这咽下的自尊卡住了喉咙。他们看起来就像人质一般——需要用海姆利克法(从窒息者咽部除去异物的急救法——译注)急救的人质。

Well, most of them. Mike Pence has discovered a freaky talent for such freakish sycophancy, and called it “the greatest privilege of my life” to assist “the president who’s keeping his word to the American people.” (Which word is that?) He sounded like he believed it. The mysteries of faith, indeed.

其中大部分人是这样。迈克·彭斯(Mike Pence)在自己身上发掘出了使出此类怪异献媚的奇怪天分,他称能协助”对美国人民信守诺言的总统”(他守了什么承诺?),是“我一生最大的荣幸”。他听起来好像真是这么认为的。这的确是信仰之谜。

A few others in the meeting summoned less ardor. “It’s an honor,” Mattis said, but then continued, “to represent the men and women of the Department of Defense.” Trump turned away just then, as if the absence of his name equaled the loss of his interest.

有几位参会者热情略微不足。“我感到十分荣幸,”马蒂斯说,但他接着讲道,“能代表国防部的男女将士。”就在那时,特朗普把脑袋扭开,仿佛马蒂斯没有提自己的名字,令他立马兴味索然。

Mattis has suffered the humiliation of assuring allies of our commitment to NATO just before Trump, without warning him, sowed doubts about precisely that. McMaster, whose book “Dereliction of Duty” is expressly about talking truth to power, found himself at a lectern doing damage control for his damage-prone boss. He vouched that Trump’s divulgence of classified information to Russian officials at the White House was no big deal.

此前,马蒂斯刚刚向盟国保证我们对北约(NATO)的承诺,特朗普便在没跟他通气的情况下对这一点表示质疑,令其蒙羞。麦克马斯特发现自己要时时出面,为不停闯祸的老板采取补救措施——他写过一本名叫《玩忽职守》(Dereliction of Duty)的书,讲的是要向掌权者说真话。他向外界保证,特朗普在白宫将机密信息泄露给俄罗斯官员,不是什么大事。

No one in Trump’s administration was forced into this service and its compromises. Some hungered for power, in whatever bastard package delivered it. At least a few, like Sessions, had poisoned reputations already.

在特朗普政府里,没人是被迫做这份工作或者被迫做出妥协的。其中有些人觊觎权力,不管这权力要用何等腌臜的代价去换取。至少有那么几位,比如塞申斯,名声本来也不好。

But there were those with higher motives, too, and they find themselves in a White House governed by dread. Who’s next to be shamed? What tweet or tantrum awaits? They thought that they’d be bolstering a leader. They see now that they’re holding a grenade.

但其中也有一些人有更重要的动机,他们发现自己身处一个被恐惧支配的白宫。下一个要被羞辱的是谁?总统接下来又会发什么推文,耍什么脾气?以前,他们认为自己是在给一位领袖提供支持,现在却发现自己手握着一颗手榴弹。

You could sense the stress of that in Sessions, who endorsed Trump before any other senator did, won the prize of attorney general but on Tuesday was the prosecuted, not the prosecutor.

你可以感觉到塞申斯身上的这种压力。比任何参议员都更早为特朗普背书的他,最终当上了司法部长,但周二他却是被起诉方,而不是检方。

At times he had a hurt, helpless air. He cried foul at the “secret innuendo being leaked out there about me.”

他时不时流露出一种受伤和无助的神情。他为“外界流传的有关我的风言风语”感到痛心疾首。

He called the suggestion that he’d conspired with Russia “an appalling and detestable lie.”

他说,有关他与俄罗斯勾结的暗示是“极其恶劣和令人厌恶的谎言”。

“I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations,” he declared. No, but he made it a hell of a lot harder the moment he took Trump’s hand.

“我没有放弃为自己的荣誉辩护,要对抗这些恶意诽谤的虚假指控,”他如此宣称。他的确没有放弃,但是从他与特朗普携手的那一刻起,这一点就变得难上加难了。

For all Trump’s career and all his campaign, he played the part of Midas, claiming that everything he touched turned to gold. That was never true. This is: Almost everyone who touches him is tarnished, whether testifying or not.

在特朗普的整个职业生涯里,以及对他的竞选团队而言,他一直扮演着迈达斯(希腊神话中的人物——译注)的角色,声称自己会点石成金。这当然是鬼扯。事实是:每个被他触摸过的人都会失去光泽,无论作证与否。

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