经济学人:莱克星顿 政治斗争在圣诞前夕暂息
日期:2014-12-29 17:07

(单词翻译:单击)

中英文本

Lexington
莱克星顿
Still in the trenches
仍深陷战壕
A pre-Christmas lull in political combat probably means less than meets the eye
政治斗争在圣诞前夕暂息,其意义也许低于表面价值
THE idea of the Christmas truce is a potent one. A celebrated example took place in December 1914, when first-world-war troops climbed warily from trenches at points along the Western Front. As freezing fog swirled, British and allied soldiers met German foes to barter cigarettes, sing carols and kick footballs on no-man's-land. The moment passed into myth, inspiring poems, films and a (pretty terrible) Paul McCartney song. Britain is marking the centenary lavishly, with a new monument and memorial football matches around the world. Far-off Washington was not left out, with British and Canadian diplomats playing a German-embassy team in America's capital on December 14th.
圣诞休战的想法很强大,最有名的例子是1914年的12月,在一战西线战场上,战士们疲惫地从战壕中爬出,弥漫的寒雾中,英国及其联盟国的战士和他们的德国对手聚在一起,抽香烟,唱颂歌,在无人区踢足球。这一刻被写成了传说故事与振奋人心的诗歌,还被拍成了电影,编成了一首惹人生厌的保罗·麦卡特尼歌曲,以这些形式流传了下来。值其百年之际,英国对此进行了大肆庆祝,新建了一座纪念碑,还发起了世界范围的纪念足球赛。远方的华盛顿也不甘落后,12月14日,英加外交官在美国首都迎战德国使馆队。


Yet the meaning of Christmas 1914 is in danger of being muddled. In too many tellings, the truce is hailed as something between a protest and a premonition: a declaration of shared humanity by ordinary soldiers, before heartless commanders sent them to their deaths. History's record is more complicated. That first December the trenches were newly dug, and both sides could imagine that total victory was at hand. The small-scale Christmas truces of 1914 were as much a display of misplaced confidence as an outbreak of pacifism. The truces' moral is rather bleak: those embarking on the first industrial war had little idea of the murderous stalemate that lay ahead. After bitter reality sank in, few called for cheery Christmas games with the enemy.
但1914年圣诞背后的含义有被混说之嫌。在许多传说中,那次休战被看做战士们在对命运的不祥预感之下,做出的一种无声抗议,是无情的指挥官把他们送往坟墓之前,寻常战士做出的人性宣言。但它在历史记载中显然更复杂。那是一战经历的第一个12月,战壕刚被挖好,交战双方都以为胜券在握。1914年那场小规模的圣诞休战,若说它代表了反战主义,那它一定也代表着交战双方错寄的信心。休战的意义很模糊,史上首次工业战争的参与者几乎不了解,前方有多少鏖战。当他们意识到苦涩的现实,就少有人有心情呼唤敌军,一起做欢乐的圣诞游戏了。
Without stretching the analogy too far, lessons are there for Congress, after members marked the holiday season with a moment of unusual comity. After a tense few days, including a Saturday session in the Senate, members of the House of Representatives and senators avoided shutting the government down, crossing party lines to pass a $1.1 trillion spending bill. This marked a win for the Republicans' “governing wing”: party members who believe that voters, having handed them control of both chambers of Congress in November's mid-term elections, expect them to do more than shout “No” during President Barack Obama's final two years in office. Such Republicans formed coalitions with moderate Democrats to push back populists on the right and left who opposed elements of the spending bill with enough fervour to flirt with closing down the government. Front-page headlines hailed a “rare bipartisan success”, and Senate veterans used such words as “hope”.
如果进行有限的类比,美国国会的确可以从中学到一些东西,其成员为了庆祝这一节日,正展现出难得的礼让。此前,他们经历了一段时间的剑拔弩张—包括参议院在周六的会议—两会议员努力避免政府被关闭,相互合作通过了一个1.1万亿美元的支出方案,这标志着共和党“执政派系”想法的胜利,即,共和党人相信,在11月的中期选举中,选民将两会的控制权赋予他们,并不只是为了让他们在奥巴马任期的最后两年中拒不合作的。抱着相同想法的共和党人与民主党中的温和派联手,逼退了左右派中的民粹主义者—他们反对开支议案中的内容,还充满狂热地想轻率的关闭政府。报纸头版用“罕见的跨党派成功”,参议院中的老练议员更是用上了“希望”这样的词语。
In a striking display of establishment confidence, Republican senators publicly berated their colleague Ted Cruz of Texas, a darling of the grassroots, putative presidential contender and the man chiefly responsible for forcing the Senate back into session over the weekend. Mr Cruz had held up the spending bill to demand a show-vote on whether the constitution allows Mr Obama to shield millions of migrants from deportation—a ploy that had no chance of stopping the president but did delight Cruz supporters (and inadvertently allowed Democrats extra time to confirm some contested presidential nominees before ceding control of the Senate). Though 21 colleagues felt it prudent to join Mr Cruz in a symbolic vote condemning Mr Obama's immigration policy, many more opposed him.
在一片前景光明的言论中,共和党参议员公开斥责他们的同事、德州议员特德·克鲁兹,他出身草根,是潜在的总统候选人,主要负责在周末期间,斡旋让参议院恢复开会。他曾经阻拦开支议案,以此要求对奥巴马庇护千万非法移民的问题进行投票(因此无意中,让民主党人有更多的时间,在失去参议院控制权前,确认以后会与他们敌对的总统提名候选人)。尽管当时有21名同事参加了克鲁兹象征性的投票,谴责奥巴马的移民政策,但真正反对奥巴马的人,可能更多。
A rebellion on the Democratic left was also seen off. Its leader, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, vocally opposed a provision in the spending bill which, at Wall Street's behest, weakens a part of the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law that forces banks to shift some derivatives away from government safety nets. Like Mr Cruz, Ms Warren has a talent for reducing complex policy to stirring battle-cries, calling the spending bill—an unlovely collection of gifts to special interests, with goodies for Democrats and Republicans, but few big policy shifts—“a vote for future taxpayer bail-outs of Wall Street” which, if repeated, might leave America with “no financial regulations at all”.
民主左派中的反叛也初见苗头,其领袖,马萨诸塞州参议员伊丽莎白·沃伦,公开反对开支议案中的一项条款,这一由华尔街促成的议案会削弱多德弗兰克法案,迫使银行将其一些附属机构移出政府的安全网。和克鲁兹一样,沃伦擅长将复杂的政策变为足以撩拨起战争的口号,她把这项开支议案称为送给特殊利益阶层的大礼,十分不讨喜,尽管这对两党都有利,但大的方针政策几乎没变,“这是投票决定纳税人以后是否要出资让华尔街拜托困境”,而这种事情如果一再发生,美国会“毫无金融秩序可言”。
Other Democrats saw a larger interest in taking the best deal they could get, in the last days before Republicans assume control of both the House and the Senate in the new year. During their Saturday session such pragmatic Democrats joined a bipartisan group of senators singing carols around a piano just off the Senate floor, and crooning “I'll Be Home for Christmas”.
至于其他民主党人,他们在共和党新年掌控两院之前,从他们能够得到的最好交易中看到了更大的利益。在周六的会议中,这样的务实民主党与一群两党参议员一起,在参议院的钢琴旁唱着颂歌,并低声吟唱着“我要回家过圣诞”。
Alas, the signs are that powerful forces in both parties saw the spending deal as a momentary, tactical ceasefire. Detached observers may see American democracy as increasingly locked in a 50-50 stalemate, in which Democrats dominate urban areas and enjoy a slight majority among the overall population, while Republicans have the edge among those citizens (notably older, whiter and richer folk) who reliably vote. Both parties may have fought each other to a draw in a technological arms race, perfecting gerrymandering, data-mining, and voter-targeting tools which allow core supporters to be fired up and turned out to vote with unprecedented efficiency. But—like massed armies in 1914—partisans still dream that sweeping victories are within grasp.
可悲的是,这种信号太过强大,两党都把开支议案看做了一次短暂的战略性停火。冷眼旁观的观察员则认为,美国民主越来越陷入势均力敌的僵局中—民主党主导城镇地区,在大众中开始占据微弱的多数优势,共和党则在市民(即更年长、更富有的白人)中占有优势,而这类人是实实在在的选民。两党在高科技战中也许战平了,完善了选区划分、数据挖掘和选民定制工具,让主要支持者能被煽动、以前所未有的效率投票。但就像1914年的大军一样,党派人士仍幻想着压倒性胜利是垂手可得的。
One more heave, and on to victory
向着胜利再进一步
Many on the right think that Republicans have a simple mandate once they fully control Congress: to thwart Mr Obama on every front until a proper conservative takes the White House in 2016 (two-thirds of Republicans told a recent Pew Research Centre poll that their party leaders should “stand up” to Mr Obama, even if less gets done in Washington as a result). Many on the left are sure that a majority of Americans loathe Wall Street and believe that the middle classes have been stiffed, giving a fiery economic populist like Ms Warren a clear path to power (on December 13th more than 300 former Obama campaign staff signed a letter calling on the Massachusetts senator to run for president).
许多右派人士认为,共和党控制议会后有一个简单的使命,即在所有问题上都一一瓦解奥巴马,直到保守党能够在2016年入主白宫。(2/3的共和党人在近日的一次皮尤调查中都表示,他们的党派领袖应该站出来反对奥巴马,即使政府因此会耽误一些事务)。而许多左派人士则确信,多数美国人仍憎恶华尔街,并相信中产阶级仍在受压迫,这让沃伦等极端的经济民粹主义者有了一条清晰无比的争权之路(12月13日,300名奥巴马竞选团队的前成员签署了一封信,呼吁这位马萨诸塞州议员竞选总统)。
In short, too many partisans on left and right look at an unhappy electorate and see woes that can be harnessed to bring them victory without the need to compromise. It is a relief that America's government was not shut down this Christmas. But do not mistake a lull in combat for lasting peace.
简而言之,左右两派中的许多人都在盯着不开心的选民,在不妥协的前提下,将这种不满为自己所用以带来胜利。让人松一口气的是,美国政府在这个圣诞节没有停摆。但不要把暂时的平静误认做永久的和平。翻译:杨雪 校对:靳方方

译文属译生译世
词语解释

1.political combat 政治斗争

Once the capital runs out, they will face two choices: either shift to another capital-rich environment or getting involved in the complicated political combat to promote their favored projects.
一旦资金枯竭,他们还有两个选择:转移到下一个资源充足的地方,或者就地深挖,卷入复杂的政治斗争来推进自己喜欢的项目。

Now it is melting, far faster than the climate models predicted and far more decisively than any political action to combat our changing climate.
如今,它在融化,其速度比气候模型预测的速度快的多,其行动比任何应对气候变化的政治行动果断的多。

2.call for 需要;提倡;要求

A call for a vote of no-confidence in the president was rejected.
对总统进行不信任投票的请求被否决。

The Finance Minister has renewed his call for lower interest rates.
财政部长再次呼吁降低利率。
3.shut down 停工;关闭;停业

Venerable dailies such as the Tokyo Times have shut down.
像《东京时报》之类的一些有名望的日报已经停刊了。

The strike shut down 50 airports, but most international flights were unaffected.
罢工迫使50个机场关闭,但大部分国际航班并未受到影响。

4.expect to 期望

You cannot expect to like all the people you will work with.
不要指望你会喜欢所有和你共事的人。

I do expect to have some time to myself in the evenings.
我确实希望晚上能有些属于自己的时间。

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