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更新时间:2017/4/18 11:04:45 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Steve Bannon Was Doomed

If you’re any student of politics, you saw Steve Bannon on the cover of Time magazine in early February — “The Great Manipulator,” it called him — and knew to start the countdown then.

如果你对政治具有任何深入了解,那么2月初当你看到史蒂夫·班农(Steve Bannon)登上《时代》杂志(Time)的封面时——该杂志称他为“伟大的操纵者”——你就知道他的时日不多了。

Dead strategist walking.


He’d crossed the line that a politician’s advisers mustn’t, to a place and prominence where only the most foolish of them tread. Or at best he’d failed to prevent the media from tugging him there.


He was fine so long as he was a whisperer. On the campaign trail and on the Potomac, you can whisper all you want.


He was damned the moment he was cast as a puppeteer. That means there’s a puppet in the equation, and no politician is going to accept that designation, least of all one who stamps his name in gold on anything that stands still long enough to be stamped. Or whose debate performance included the repartee: “No puppet, no puppet. You’re the puppet.”


“I’m my own strategist,” the president told The New York Post early last week, and the message to Bannon couldn’t have been louder and clearer if it included a four-letter word.

“我就是自己的策略师,”上周早些时候这位总统在接受《纽约邮报》(New York Post)采访时说。这短短的一句语向班农传递了一个非常响亮而清晰的信息。

Bannon is “a guy who works for me,” he said to The Wall Street Journal a day later, lumping the lumpy tactician together with the concierges at Trump Tower, the groundskeepers at Mar-a-Loco and the makers of the meatloaf in the White House kitchen.

第二天,他对《华尔街日报》(The Wall Street Journal)说,班农是“一个为我工作的人”,把这位身形硕大的策略师与特朗普大厦(Trump Tower)的礼宾员、马阿拉歌庄园的场地管理员以及白宫的肉糕厨师混为一谈。

Trump went so far as to suggest that he was barely acquainted with Bannon before August 2016, when Bannon joined his presidential campaign. Wrong. Trump had been a guest on the radio show that Bannon used to host nine times. But his rewrite of history was telling. Bannon needed to be erased because he was taking up too much space on the page.


Politics is a tricky business, Washington is a treacherous place and Trumplandia is downright brutal. In all three realms, you have to strike the right balance of self-promotion and self-effacement. The media’s no help: We love few archetypes better than that of the brilliant mastermind who’s the real power behind the throne. But the savviest operators find ways to resist that assignment, deflecting as much credit as they claim.


“It’s important to remember that you’re always a supporting actor, never the star,” David Axelrod, one of Barack Obama’s closest campaign and White House advisers, told me. “And depending on who the star is, it’s even more important. Donald Trump’s self-image doesn’t really allow for co-stars.”

“重要的是要记住,你永远是一个配角,绝不是主角,”贝拉克·奥巴马最亲密的竞选和白宫顾问戴维·阿克塞尔罗德(David Axelrod)在接受采访时说。“根据主角的变换,这一点可能极其重要。唐纳德·特朗普的自我形象并不允许出现另一个主角。”

George W. Bush’s self-image had slightly more allowance, but even so, nothing made Karl Rove’s stomach knot like the nickname — “Bush’s brain” — that a few journalists hung on him. It was both compliment and curse, and to interview him or any of Bush’s other top aides back in the day was to be pummeled with sentences that all started with the same subject, adjusted for whichever title Bush held at that point.

乔治·W·布什(George W. Bush)的自我形象略微更具容忍度,但即便如此,没什么比“布什的大脑”这样的绰号更令卡尔·罗夫(Karl Rove)感到不安——那是几名记者给他起的绰号。那既是赞美,也是诅咒,当时采访他或布什的其他几位高级助手时,他们总以相同的主语开头——根据布什的时任职位略作调整。

“The governor believes.” “The president-elect has decided.” “The president feels strongly.” Ask them for their opinion, and they’d tell you what he thought. That was the pecking order, which was reinforced by Bush’s own nickname for Rove: “Turd Blossom.”

“州长认为。”“候任总统认为。”“总统强烈地感觉到。”你询问他们的观点,他们会告诉你总统的想法。这是等级秩序,而布什给罗夫起的绰号“牛粪花”(Turd Blossom)巩固了这种秩序。

Rove endured as one of Bush’s two or three pre-eminent advisers for about a decade, and his eventual diminution was largely a function of Bush’s waning popularity in the second term of his presidency, when Rove was moved from a corner suite in the West Wing to a windowless office across the hall.


Donald Regan, Ronald Reagan’s second chief of staff, was forced to resign after just two tumultuous years, partly because he’d lost sight of his place, infuriating the first lady. In her memoir, “My Turn,” Nancy Reagan complained that he “often acted as if he were the president.”

罗纳德·里根(Ronald Reagan)的第二任幕僚长唐纳德·瑞根(Donald Regan)仅仅经过动荡的两年就被迫辞职,一个原因是他忘了自己的位置,触怒了第一夫人。南希·里根(Nancy Reagan)在自己的回忆录《白宫八年》(My Turn)中抱怨称,瑞根“经常表现得好像他自己才是总统”。

That behavior reflected the ease with which senior advisers “get caught up in feeling smarter and more powerful than the principal,” said one veteran Republican strategist, who added that the advisers who survive are able to reject or mask that grandiose sense of self.


Bannon is an amateur masker. While he didn’t give Time any quotes for its “manipulator” story and the photograph of him on the cover had been shot for a different reason three months earlier, he has spent plenty of time talking off the record with political reporters, too little of it actively tamping down his legend.


He wasn’t vigilant enough about patrolling the way his allies inside and outside the administration deified him in their own murmurings to the media, which included the nugget that colleagues awed by his knowledge called him “the encyclopedia.” He didn’t grasp that you can’t be “the encyclopedia” if your president is barely a pamphlet, and didn’t see the traps that would have been obvious to a Washington insider.


He didn’t grapple with who Trump really is. Trump’s allegiances are fickle. His attention flits. His compass is popularity, not any fixed philosophy, certainly not the divisive brand of populism and nationalism that Bannon was trying to enforce. Bannon insisted on an ideology when Trump cares more about applause, and what generates it at a campaign rally isn’t what sustains it when you’re actually governing.


Bannon stupidly picked a fight with Jared Kushner that he was all but certain to lose, and not only because Kushner is kin. Consider Trump’s obsession with appearances, then tell me who has the advantage: the guy who looks like a flea market made flesh or the one who seems poised to pose for G.Q.?

班农愚蠢地选择与贾里德·库什纳(Jared Kushner)作对,那是他几乎注定会输掉的一场斗争,不仅因为库什纳是特朗普的亲属。想想特朗普对外貌的痴迷,你就知道谁更有优势了:一个看起来像是人形跳蚤市场的家伙,另一个像是已准备好为《GQ》摆姿势拍照。

Bannon is still on the job, and Trump may keep him there, because while he has been disruptive inside the White House, he could be pure nitroglycerin outside. He commands acolytes on the alt-right. He has the mouthpiece of Breitbart News. He has means for revenge. He also has a history of it.

班农依然还保留着这份工作,特朗普可能会让他继续留在那里,因为虽然他在白宫具有破坏性,但在外面他绝对是个极其危险的人物。他拥有大量另类右翼追随者。他还拥有言论渠道布莱巴特新闻网站(Breitbart News)。他有报复的途径。也做过类似的事情。

But it’s hard to imagine how he ever again ascends to a status as lofty as the one he held; others have rushed into that airspace. SuperJared flies high. Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, is flapping his own wings.

Politico网站周四的一个头条写道,“特朗普的新宠是另一个史蒂夫”。文章详细讲述了班农的副手斯蒂芬·米勒(Stephen Miller)不断上升的地位,他不仅迎合库什纳,据Politico网站称,他还抱怨“班农努力将特朗普的成功过多地归功于自己”。

And “Trump’s got a new favorite Steve,” according to a headline in Politico on Thursday. The story below it charted the rising fortunes of Bannon’s deputy, Stephen Miller, who has been cozying up to Kushner and, according to Politico, complaining that “Bannon tried to take too much credit for Trump’s successes.”