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奥巴马有望连任吗?

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当丘吉尔在1945年的大选中落败的时候,他的妻子克莱曼婷告诉他“塞翁失马,焉知非福”。然而那位老前辈并未信服。他含糊地说到:“目前可见的只是,这一次失足跌的很惨(意译,有更好的翻译麻烦大家说说)。”美国选民给奥巴马的打击,也是一次“塞翁失马”的遭遇。于总统而言,中期选举的结果其实不尽然是坏的。进一步说:他连任的希望看上去其实前所未有的大。
When Winston Churchill was defeated in the 1945 general election, his wife, Clementine, told him it was "a blessing in disguise". The grand old man was not convinced. He harrumphed: "At the moment, it is very well disguised." The pounding delivered by America's voters to the Democrats is a blessing in disguise for Barack Obama. The results of the mid-term elections were not at all bad for the president. I'd go further: his prospects of winning a second term look as good, if not better, than ever.
表面上看,在民主党遭遇了多年未遇的一场惨败之后,作出这样的推论有反常态。重新掌权的共和党人在众议院中占到了超过60个的议席,这是自上个世纪40年代以来在半个国会中所占议席最多的一次。他们在议会增加了6个席位,其中包含奥巴马以前在伊利诺伊州的位置。尽管这并不能使他们掌控另一半国会,但对于民主党来说,要扫除共和党这个障碍就变得更加困难了。而且,共和党在许多重要的州都有自己的门路。作为回应,奥巴马有些悲伤地承认“有些选举的确比别的来的让人开心”,也坦诚他被选民彻底“打败”了。正如丘吉尔一样,奥巴马一定也在想,如果这次失败是一次塞翁失马,那么同样,他也摔得很惨。
On the face of things, this is a perverse conclusion to draw after one of the worst drubbings suffered by the Democrats in many years. Resurgent Republicans gained more than 60 seats in the House of Representatives, handing them their biggest majority in that half of Congress since the 1940s. They added six Senate places, among them Obama's old seat in Illinois. Though this was not enough to give them control of the other half of Congress, it will make it that much more difficult for Democrats to overcome Republican filibusters. The Republicans also grabbed the keys to the governors' mansions in a slew of key states. Obama reacted to the defeats by ruefully observing: "Some election nights are better than others" and accepting he had taken a "shellacking" from the voters. Like Churchill, he must be inclined to think that, if this is a blessing, it is a very well disguised one.
的确如此。要想鼓励这位总统,就得先克服由那些避无可避,并涉及那让人颜面扫地的惨败的新闻头条所造成的巨大困扰。然后还要在两年前总统选举时的欢愉已经消失,奥巴马也已经“失宠”的情况下,在那些来自大西洋两岸的,甚至可以猜到内容的各种评论中,为他艰难开路。在完成这种种事情之后,才能依稀看到前景。对于美国的执政党来说,中期选举上落败实属平常。美国人民感到不满,于是中期选举成为了他们发泄怒气的“安全阀门”。罗斯福在38年受到了很大打击,却接着连任了2届的总统。里根在中期选举时落败,却最终还是凯旋而归,回到白宫。克林顿也有类似经历。在回忆录中他写到:“在94年选举之后,人们嘲笑我是个完全不相干的人,注定了96年会卸任。”事实却证明,他轻松地驶向了胜利的彼岸。在所有先例中,中期选举的失败给总统以警醒,让他们有更有力的作为。然而这些失败却被有些人误解。
So it is. To find the encouragement for the president, you first have to dig beneath a thick crust of inevitable headlines describing these elections in terms of a humiliating rout. Then you have to hack through a lot of predictable commentary on both sides of the Atlantic about the evaporation of the euphoria which attended Obama's election two years ago and talk about his "fall from grace". Only once you've done that do things come into perspective. It helps to have a sense of history. Heavy midterm defeats for the party occupying the White House are very common. Midterms are a safety valve which Americans often use to let off steam when they are in a discontented state. Franklin D Roosevelt took a thumping in 1938 and went on to win two more presidential elections. Ronald Reagan suffered a severe midterm defeat two years before being returned to the White House by a landslide. Bill Clinton followed a similar pattern. In his memoirs, Clinton writes: "After the 1994 elections, I had been ridiculed as an irrelevant figure, destined for defeat in 1996." As it turned out, he cruised to victory. In each case, midterm defeats galvanised the president to sharpen up his act while the other side misread what had happened.
沉浸在胜利喜悦中共和党们,却犯了一个大错。他们把对民主党的反对和对共和党的热情混为一谈。有些最杰出的党内人士自负地吹嘘他们会直达华盛顿,然后将政权夺回来。在到达总统办公室后,对于奥巴马制定实施的一切事物也都置之不理。这就是一种不恰当的宣泄方式了。民意调查显示,48%的选民认为奥巴马的医改方案应该被废止,这和共和党人达成了一致。然而有47%的选民却表示,他们希望保留医改方案或者拓宽其保障范围。39%的人认为削减财政赤字是首要任务,而37%的人认为政府拨款以刺激经济的发展更加重要。
Republicans, intoxicated by their victories, are making a major mistake. That is to confuse a protest vote against the Democrats with enthusiasm for Republicans. Some of their most prominent figures are vaingloriously bragging about heading to Washington to "take our government back" and undo everything Obama has enacted since he arrived in the Oval Office. That is a misinterpretation of the mood. In polls, 48% of voters agreed with the Republicans that Obama's healthcare reforms should be repealed. But 47% said they wanted to retain or expand those reforms. Cutting the deficit should be the priority of Congress, according to 39%; spending money to stimulate the economy is preferred by an almost equal 37%.
这次选举并不是共和党受到认可的一个明显迹象。在没有任何可以用来标榜功绩的规划实施并获得成效以前,他们都无法得到认可。国会中共和党和民主党的口碑一样杯具,他们都不如奥巴马个人的口碑好。况且奥巴马的声望还一直保持得相当稳定。简单来说,美国就是被分成两个房间的房子,受辖于两个政府。
This election did not represent a ringing endorsement of the Republican platform. It could never be that when there wasn't anything that you could dignify with the name of programme. The ratings of Republicans in Congress are just as dire as those for Democrats – and both are a lot worse than Obama's personal ratings which remain reasonably firm. In short, America is a house divided and has now given itself a divided government.
这次失败会使总统的威信和权力受到影响,这的确是事实。现今因为共和党掌握了下议院而且可以阻挠议会的决议,重要法律的颁布肯定就会变得更加困难。于是他在较早的任期间所达成的一系列法律改革,反而显示出他的英明。这些改革就发生在那些碍事的共和党人眼皮底下。那时他们怀着让奥巴马无望连任的愤世嫉俗心思,所以也并没有提出可行的替代方案。
It is true that this will have some disempowering effect on the president. He will find it much harder to drive through any landmark laws now that the Republicans have control of the House and can jam up the Senate. That makes him look even wiser to have achieved a string of legislative changes in the early period of his presidency in the face of obstructive Republicans who offered no coherent alternative of their own in the cynical hope of undermining his hopes of re-election.
通过控制众议院,共和党得以掌控一小部分权力以及承担着一部分政府的责任。而这些责任则可以让他们充满着不满与反对的心境,大白于天下。他们希望自己控制的地区政府规模更大,财政支出更多,而其他地方则相反。而其内部也因为党内纷争出现分裂,甚至都没有一个大家都认可的党内领导。右派里有传统的共和党,而更右还有茶党。茶党通过煽动保守派的激进分子来使选举更有竞争性。他们此举是对的。有资历的共和党人表示稳重和有能力的候选人将会获得民主党空出来的议席,因为在混乱的局势中,有些中间派的共和党候选人脱颖而出。这同样也是对的。小丑似的克里斯汀,也就是那个老是靠大喊:“我不是女巫!”来开场的第一位候选人,就使得特拉华州那个本来属于共和党议席白白丢掉了。
By capturing the House of Representatives, the Republicans have acquired a slice of the power and a share of the responsibility for government. Responsibility is going to expose postures that are riddled with contradictions. They want a smaller government and a reduced deficit except in those many areas where they demand bigger government and more spending. They are also riven with factionalism and without an agreed national leadership. On the right, we have the traditional Republicans. On the further right, we have the Tea Partyists. The tea bags contend, and they are correct, that they energised these elections by firing up conservative activists. The establishment Republicans say, and they are also correct, that more moderate and competent candidates would have won additional seats from the Democrats which were lost because more centrist Republican candidates had been displaced by the madder hats of the insurgency. The clownish Christine O'Donnell – the first candidate for office to have to begin a campaign ad with the declaration: "I'm not a witch" – lost a Senate seat that should have been won for the Republicans in Delaware.
另一位茶党被看好的候选人Sharron Angle认为,美国的城市应该按照伊斯兰教法来管理,而且如果她说西班牙人长的像亚洲人,就会获得西班牙选民支持。她输给了早些时候被认为会必败无疑的民主党在议会的主要领导人Harry Reid。这些竞争里,有对于奥巴马来说更为鼓舞人心的一些预兆。美国人或许已经抓狂了,但是他们还没有疯狂到要给四处撒野的茶党张开欢迎的拥抱。
Sharron Angle, another Tea Party favourite who had claimed that American cities were run by sharia and thought Hispanic voters would find it appealing if she told them they looked like Asians, lost to Harry Reid, the Democrat Senate majority leader who had earlier seemed doomed to defeat. In those races were further encouraging auguries for President Obama. Americans may be as mad as hell, but they are not crazy enough to want to embrace the wilder shores of Tea Partyism.
这就是美国民主的步调,而共和党人已经为到底由谁来参加2012的总统选举而焦头烂额。这将更毫不掩饰地暴露出他们的问题所在。尽管茶党没能得到议席,共和党人却被萨拉佩林和她的同僚们带得越来越右派。自封的“灰熊妈妈”要(就是萨拉佩林,中文翻译她的绰号是梭子鱼但是国外网站上却用的这个mama grizzly,不懂= =b)参加共和党2012总统候选人竞选,这带来的威胁,使党内的老前辈们感到很是惊惧,而民主党的谋士们却感到前途很是光明。
Such is the pace of democracy in America, Republicans are already obsessing over who should be their standard bearer in the next presidential contest in 2012. That is going to expose their fault lines even more starkly. Despite the rebuffing of the Tea Party in some seats, the Republicans will continue to be dragged to the right by Sarah Palin and her fellow travellers. The threat of the self-styled Mama Grizzly running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 terrifies the party's establishment as much as the prospect delights Democrat strategists.
从某种程度上说,阿拉斯加州的前州长是个政治天才(萨拉佩林曾担任阿拉斯加州州长一职)。2年前和麦凯恩站在同一站线的她让人感到前途无望。她是个异常极端的人物,是个对自己哗众取宠的行为喜爱非常的自恋狂。尽管经过两年的养精蓄锐,在对政局的把握和思想的连贯性上,她依旧表现得肤浅得令人忧心。她没有担任需由选举才能产生的职位,但是她却可能把自己成功地塑造成了在这个世界上除了奥巴马,布什和克林顿以外最“有名”的美国政客。然而名声和能力却不能划等号。抵制那些稳重温和的政治家,才是她和茶党所做的最能让右翼选民兴奋的事情。
The former governor of Alaska is, in some ways, a political genius. She proved to be a hopeless liability when she was on John McCain's ticket two years ago. She is an intensely polarising figure and a narcissist in love with her own shtick. Having had two years to raise her game, she continues to demonstrate an alarming lack of grip or coherence on policy. She now holds no elected office. Yet she has fashioned a profile which makes her probably the best-known American politician in the world after Obama, Bush and Clinton. Celebrity is not the same, however, as credibility. Two out of three American voters believe Sarah Palin is not qualified to be president. The very things about her and the tea baggers which excite right-wing voters are those which repel the more moderate ones.
在未来可能有两件好事等着总统。有点矛盾的是,其中之一是经济状况。在对民主党的落败褒贬不一的分析中,最引人注意的是最简单的那个:人们已经对自金融危机以来的争锋相对所造成的经济发展迟缓的局面,感到厌倦。在失业率接近10%,而事实上没工作可干的人差不多有20%的时候,这种心态并不难预料。如果可以两头沾光,奥巴马将毫无疑问炙手可热。经济持续发展缓慢,奥巴马就会陷入麻烦。而经济状况一旦开始好转,那么原本使民主党在中期选举落败的问题,则可以为奥巴马连任增添砝码。
There are two further disguised blessings for the president. Paradoxically, one is the economy. Amid the welter of analysis of the Democrats' defeats, by far the most compelling explanation is the simplest one: Americans are frustrated with a lacklustre recovery from the sharpest contraction since the Great Depression. It is not hard to divine why they are angry when the official unemployment rate is nudging 10% and the real level of joblessness is nearer 20%. If there is a double-dip, Obama is almost certainly toast. If the economy continues to limp, he will be in trouble. If the economy is clearly on the mend, the issue that so damaged the Democrats in the midterms ought to work for Obama in the next presidential election.
经济危机让人们感到气愤,而气愤则会导致不稳定的情绪。在06年的中期选举上他们(即群众)就曾给共和党沉重一击。2年之前,奥巴马为民主党赢得了自1964年以来最大的胜利。而今,他和他的政党则正在遭受打击。众议院没有易主,而是在几十年以后又回到了共和党手里。人们的情绪此消彼长。那些可以熟练处理人们膨胀的舆论压力,并且不论走运与否都能保持屹立不倒的政治家,才是能够获得成功的人。奥巴马就是其中之一。
People in economic distress become angry people and angry people tend to be volatile people. They thwacked the Republicans in the 2006 midterms. Two years ago, Obama won the best presidential victory for a Democrat since 1964. Now he and his party have taken a bashing. The House has not changed hands and back again so quickly in many decades. Moods ebb and flow in big waves. Success goes to the sort of politician who is skilled at surfing the swells of public opinion, one who can ride the crest and also keep his balance when it breaks. Barack Obama is that sort of politician.
中期选举让奥巴马更加清醒,他表示希望在国会中和共和党通力合作。在人们看来,共和党因为过于自负而不断制造冲突,而此时奥巴马对其的妥协将使他反败为胜。他原本就扮演着一个治愈人们心理伤痛的政治角色,他使人们摆脱了丑陋的党派偏见。茶党主义(即强调大众的利益,反对政府统治)的极端性将会使奥巴马又一次成为那个有号召力和凝聚力的中立者。我把宝押在奥巴马身上,他一定会在2012赢得连任,而且这个赌很可能一本万利。是的,他依旧可以(原文Yes,he still can. 对耳熟能详的竞选口号“Yes, we can.”的改写)。
In the wake of the midterms, he has voiced a willingness to work with the Republicans in Congress. He will prosper by being seen as the one who attempted to compromise only to be rebuffed by a Republican party sucked into confrontationalism by its overconfident right. His original appeal was as a healing politician who could lift America above ugly partisanship. The extremism of Tea Partyism will help him to be that attractive, unifying centrist again. My money is on Barack Obama securing a second term in 2012 and quite possibly winning big. Yes, he still can.
标签:奥巴马 连任
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2010-11-15 15:39 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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