WASHINGTON — At the beginning of the day, she was asked if she was sure that he was the one who sexually assaulted her 36 years ago. “One hundred percent,” she said. At the end of the day, he was asked if he was certain he had not. “One hundred percent,” he said.
华盛顿——那天开始时,她被问到是否确定他就是那个在36年前性侵自己的人。“百分之百确定,”她说。最后,他被问及自己是否确定没有做过这件事。“百分之百确定,”他说。
One after the other, Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh sat in the same chair before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, separated by less than an hour but a reality gulf so wide that their conflicting accounts of what happened when they were teenagers cannot be reconciled.
周四,克莉丝汀·布莱西·福特(Christine Blasey Ford)和布莱特·M·卡瓦诺(Brett M. Kavanaugh)法官相继坐在参议员司法委员会(Senate Judiciary Committee)面前的同一把椅子上,他们之间作证的间隔不到一小时,但现实的鸿沟如此之巨大,两人对于少年时到底发生了什么相互矛盾的说法无法得到调和。
With millions of Americans alternately riveted and horrified by the televised drama, Dr. Blasey and Judge Kavanaugh left no room for compromise, no possibility of confusion, no chance that they remembered something differently. In effect, they asked senators to choose which one they believed. And in that moment, these two 100 percent realities came to embody a society divided into broader realities so disparate and so incompatible that it feels as if two countries are living in the borders of one.
这个电视上的戏剧场面令千百万美国人又是震惊,又是惊骇,布莱西博士和卡瓦诺法官没有给妥协留下余地,不存在混淆的可能性,也没有可能他们的记忆出现偏差。实际上,他们让参议员们选择到底相信哪一方,在那一刻,这两个百分之百确定的现实代表了一个被分割成更广泛现实的社会,它们如此迥异、如此互不相容,让人觉得好像是同一个国境内共存的两个国家。
It has become something of a cliché to say that the United States has become increasingly tribal in the era of President Trump, with each side in its own corner, believing what it chooses to believe and looking for reinforcement in the media and politics. But the battle over Judge Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination has reinforced those divisions at the intersection of sex, politics, power and the law.
在特朗普时代,美国社会的部落化越来越严重,各方人士都只在自己的角落待着,相信自己选择相信的事情,并且在媒体和政治中选择加强这种印象的内容,这种说法已经是老生常谈了。但围绕着卡瓦诺最高法院提名的战争已经在性、政治、权力和法律的交汇处巩固了这些分歧。
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Senators emerged from Thursday’s hearing bitterly split into those tribes, with Democrats persuaded by Dr. Blasey’s calm and unflustered account of being shoved onto a bed, pawed, nearly stripped and prevented from screaming for help, while Republicans were moved by Judge Kavanaugh, who bristled with red-faced outrage and grievance at what he called an orchestrated campaign to destroy his life.
周四听证会上的参议员剧烈地分化为这样一些派别,民主党人被布莱西冷静从容的说法所说服,她说自己被推到一张床上,被上下其手,几乎被剥去衣服,并且无法尖叫寻求帮助,而共和党人则被卡瓦诺打动,对于这起他认为是精心策划、旨在毁掉他生活的事件,他面红耳赤,表示极度的愤怒与委屈。
By Thursday night, only a few of the 100 who will decide Judge Kavanaugh’s fate remained undecided, searching for answers where none were readily available. “There is doubt,” said Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona. “We’ll never move beyond that. Just have a little humility on that.”
到周四晚上,100名即将决定卡瓦诺命运的人中,只有少数人尚未下定决心,他们在寻找着答案,虽然这并不是一个能轻易回答的问题。“有疑点,”亚利桑那州共和党参议员杰夫·弗莱克(Jeff Flake)说。“我们永远无法克服这一点。只是对此有点谦卑之心。”
It was surely the most explosive and surreal confirmation hearing since Clarence Thomas and Anita F. Hill in 1991. A nominee for the Supreme Court was asked if he was “a gang rapist” and a blackout drunk, while defending himself by describing how long he preserved his virginity. His accuser described him “grinding into me,” covering her mouth when she tried to scream and fearing that he “was accidentally going to kill me.”
这肯定是自1991年克拉伦斯·托马斯(Clarence Thomas)和安妮塔F.希尔(Anita F. Hill)一案以来最具爆炸性、最不可思议的确认听证会。一名最高法院职位提名人被问到他是“一个团伙强奸犯”还是一个暂时失忆的醉汉,同时他描述自己保持了多长时间的童贞,以此为自己辩护。原告形容他“压在我身上”,她试图尖叫时,他捂住她的嘴,她担心他会“一不小心杀了我”。
Unlike Ms. Hill 27 years ago, Dr. Blasey was treated gingerly by the committee Republicans, who feared looking as if they were beating up a sexual assault victim and handed over the questioning to an outside counsel who never meaningfully challenged her account.
与27年前的希尔一案不同,布莱西受到委员会共和党人小心翼翼的对待,他们害怕看起来好像是在打击一名性侵犯受害者,并将提问环节交给一位外部律师,他从未对她的描述提出过切实的质疑。
For a dozen days, Dr. Blasey had been an idea rather than a person, the focal point of one of the most polarized debates in a polarized capital without anyone having seen her, met her or heard her. But on Thursday, she became a very human being, telling a terrible story about Judge Kavanaugh in compelling terms that brought many women to tears and transformed the battle for the Supreme Court.
十几天来,布莱西在人们心目中,与其说是一个人,不如说只是一个想法,在一个截然对立的首都中的一场截然对立的辩论里,她成了焦点,然而没有人见过她、遇到她或听到她的声音。但在周四,她变成了一个非常人性化的人,以令人信服的方式讲述了一个关于卡瓦诺的可怕故事,让许多女人流泪,并改变了最高法院的斗争。
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She came across as Everywoman — an Everywoman with a Ph.D. — at once guileless about politics yet schooled in the science of memory and psychology. By the end of her testimony, even Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the Republican committee chairman, thanked her “for your bravery coming out.”
她看上去像是一个普通女人——一位拥有博士学位的普通女人——她曾对政治一无所知,但受过记忆科学和心理学方面的教育。在她的证词结束时,甚至共和党委员会主席,艾奥瓦州参议员查尔斯·E·格拉斯利(Charles E. Grassley)也感谢她“勇敢地站出来”。
At this point, at the White House, on Capitol Hill and in Republican circles around town, there was despair. Even Judge Kavanaugh’s friends acknowledged that she had come across as powerful and credible. Text messages with words like “disaster” were shared as Republicans began thinking ahead to what would happen after the nomination was withdrawn or voted down. Liberals began arguing that Judge Kavanaugh should even step down from the appeals court where he currently serves.
此时,在白宫、国会山和华盛顿的共和党圈子里,出现了绝望的情绪。即使是卡瓦诺的朋友也承认她显得强大而可信。当共和党人开始思考提名被撤回或被否决后将会发生什么时,带有“灾难”等字眼的短信到处传播。自由派争辩说,卡瓦诺甚至应该从他目前服务的上诉法院辞职。
But when Judge Kavanaugh showed up in the same hearing room, it was a different nominee than the mild, overly rehearsed jurist who was interviewed on Fox News earlier in the week. Encouraged by Mr. Trump, he embraced Justice Thomas’s approach of confrontation and anger, appealing to his tribe by adopting the narrative of the president who nominated him and the base that supports him.
但是,当卡瓦诺出现在同一个听证会议室时,与本周早些时候接受福克斯新闻采访时那位温和、做过太多排练的法官相比,他显得像是一个完全不同的提名者。在特朗普的鼓励下,他采取了托马斯大法官的那种对抗与愤怒的态度,通过引入提名他的总统和支持他的群体的叙事,来打动他的阵营。
While careful not to directly attack Dr. Blasey, Judge Kavanaugh practically shouted at the senators, calling the confirmation process a “circus” and “national disgrace” and blaming the questions about his history on a conspiracy to “destroy me” fueled by “pent-up anger about President Trump” and “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.”
虽然小心翼翼地不直接攻击布莱西,卡瓦诺实际上已经在对参议员们喊叫,称这个确认过程是“闹剧”和“国家的耻辱”,并说有关他的历史的问题是“摧毁我”的阴谋,被“针对特朗普总统的压抑愤怒”和“为克林顿夫妇报复”的情绪所激化。
Suddenly, the Republican senators who seemed so defeated just minutes earlier roared back to life with righteous indignation on Judge Kavanaugh’s behalf and dispensed with the outside counsel, taking over the questioning for themselves.
突然之间,几分钟前还显得像是被击败了的共和党参议员们重新振作起来,为卡瓦诺感到义愤,并取消了外部律师的职责,自己接管了质问。
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the only Republican who had aggressively defended the judge in the hallway, now led the way in the hearing room with a scathing assault on Democrats sitting a few feet away.
南卡罗来纳州的参议员林赛·格雷厄姆(Lindsey Graham)是唯一一位在听证会上积极为卡瓦诺辩护的共和党人,此时在听证室里掌握主动,对几英尺外的民主党人进行严厉的攻击。
共和党人将他们的质疑权交给了来自亚利桑那州的职业性犯罪检察官雷切尔·米切尔。
共和党人将他们的质疑权交给了来自亚利桑那州的职业性犯罪检察官雷切尔·米切尔。 Erin Schaff for The New York Times
“What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life,” he railed at them.
“你们想做的就是毁灭此人的生活,”他斥责他们。
Turning to Judge Kavanaugh, he said, “You’ve got nothing to apologize for.”
他转向卡瓦诺,说,“你没有什么可道歉的。”
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Then addressing the wavering Republican senators whose votes will determine this confirmation, Mr. Graham said, “To my Republican colleagues, if you vote no, you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics.”
之后,格雷厄姆对那些将决定这一确认但目前还在摇摆不定的共和党参议员说,“对我的共和党同事来说,如果你们投反对票,你们就是把我在从政期间见过的最卑鄙的事情合法化。”
The messages were directed at two audiences — one was Mr. Trump, who had backed Judge Kavanaugh but left open the possibility that he would pull the nomination if he believed Dr. Blasey, and the other was the clutch of three or four senators whose votes seemed genuinely in play.
这些消息是说给两种人的——一是特朗普,他曾支持卡瓦诺,但也表示,如果他相信了布莱西的说法,就有可能撤回对卡瓦诺的任命,二是三四位投票可能起到关键作用的参议员。
Mr. Trump responded immediately after the hearing with a full-throated endorsement of Judge Kavanaugh and a call to confirm him. The swing votes, however, remained uncertain and huddled together into the night. With a narrow 51 to 49 majority, Republicans could afford to lose only one of their own if they could not pick up any Democrats.
特朗普在听证会后立即作出回应,对卡瓦诺表示全面支持,并呼吁批准他上任。然而,摇摆票仍然不确定,他们在一起商议到深夜。共和党人只有51比49的微弱多数,如果他们失去任何一票,并且无法打动任何民主党人,就将遭到失败。
The Judiciary Committee was scheduled to meet on Friday morning to vote, with Mr. Flake the deciding vote, and Senate Republican leaders planned to move the nomination to the floor perhaps by the weekend. If Judge Kavanaugh seemed doomed at midday on Thursday and revived by the end of the day, anything could still happen before the final vote, especially if additional allegations continue to pile up.
司法委员会定于星期五上午的会议上投票,由弗莱克投决定一票,参议院共和党领袖原计划或在周末将提名提上议事日程。如果说卡瓦诺在周四中午似乎显得注定失败,但在当天的最后时刻又恢复了希望,那么在最终投票之前,任何事情都可能发生,特别是如果其他指控继续增加的话。
Whether or not he is confirmed, however, the battle will not end there. With Election Day barely five weeks away and some voters already casting early ballots, Judge Kavanaugh’s case will play out in the court of public opinion.
然而,无论他的上任是否得到确认,战斗都不会随之结束。由于选举日仅在五周之后,并且一些选民已经提前投票,卡瓦诺的案件将在舆论法庭上发挥作用。
Democrats hope that outrage among women will drive them to the polls to help them take control of Congress on Nov. 6. Republicans recognize that the confirmation of a nominee accused of sexual assault would be a political liability, but hope to energize the conservative base by focusing on what they characterize as a left-wing character assassination campaign.
民主党人希望女性的愤怒将驱使她们参加投票,以帮助他们在11月6日控制国会。共和党人承认,确认被控性侵犯的被提名者上任,在政治上很不利,但他们希望通过专注他们所称的左翼人格暗杀运动,来激励保守派票仓。
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In the end, the public will weigh in. One tribe will win. The other will lose. But they will not meet in the middle.
最终,公众将会做出权衡。一个群体将获胜。另一群体会失败。但他们不会达成中间和解。