BREAKING: Our nation faces a challenging time!


The New York Times' latest survey: We were off for medical treatment today. For that reason, we'll interrupt the progress of this week's reports until tomorrow.

For today, we'll direct you to a front-page report in this morning's New York Times—a front-page report which involves several of the crucial topics we hope to discuss this week.

In print editions, the report sits in the upper-right hand corner of the Times' page 1A. As you can see if you're a subscriber, it sits beneath this triple headline:

Results Leave President With Few Politically Palatable Options

In print editions, those are the headlines which sit atop the featured report atop the New York Times' front page. We note an attendant oddity:

Online, this front-page report isn't included among the listings at the Times' "Today's Paper" site. From the layout of that site, a reader has no way to know that any such report exists.

We assume that this is a simple production error. That said, the report also seems to be nonexistent at the Times' other major site, It's presented today as the most important news report on the front page of the print edition—but it basically doesn't exist as the Times' major online sites!

Full disclosure! If you use the Times' search engine, this report can be found online. 

The report was written by Jonathan Weisman and two other reporters. When we searched on Weisman's name, we found the report in question.

Online, a pair of headlines above the report say this:

Poll Finds Wide Disapproval of Biden on Gaza, and Little Room to Shift Gears
Opinion is split between those wanting the war to end and those pressing for a definitive Israeli victory, and the divide is starkest among older and younger generations.

Tears of rage! The report concerns a new national survey about next year's presidential race—and about the tragic ongoing situation involving Israel, Hamas and Gaza.

Stating the obvious, each topic is extremely important. As the news report notes, voter opinion about the one topic may be affecting the development of the other.

(Meanwhile, "Tears of rage?" We're quoting from Bob Dylan's great song about the generation gap of the late 1960s—a song by that very name.)

As those headlines indicate, the Times report starts to trace a substantial divide between "older and younger generations" concerning the situation in Israel and Gaza. If a subscriber stumbles upon it, the news report starts like this:

WEISMAN ET AL (12/19/23): Voters broadly disapprove of the way President Biden is handling the bloody strife between Israelis and Palestinians, a New York Times/Siena College poll has found, with younger Americans far more critical than older voters of both Israel’s conduct and of the administration’s response to the war in Gaza.

Voters are also sending decidedly mixed signals about the direction U.S. policy-making should take as the war in Gaza grinds into its third month, with Israelis still reeling from the Oct. 7 terrorist attack, thousands of Palestinian deaths in Gaza and the Biden administration trying to pressure Israel to scale back its military campaign. Nearly as many Americans want Israel to continue its military campaign as want it to stop now to avoid further civilian casualties.

That split appears to leave the president with few politically palatable options.

The findings of the Times/Siena poll hold portents not only for Mr. Biden as he enters the 2024 re-election year but also for long-term relations between the Jewish state and its most powerful benefactor, the United States.

The fractured views on the conflict among traditionally Democratic voter groups show the continued difficulty Mr. Biden faces of holding together the coalition he built in 2020—a challenge that is likely to persist even as economic indicators grow more positive and legal troubles swirl around his expected opponent, former President Donald J. Trump.

Tears of rage! For blue tribe voters—for those who want President Biden re-elected—those fractured views about Israel/Gaza seem to be making a challenging situation that much more difficult. Below, you see the basic way the presidential polling shakes down:

WEISMAN ET AL: Overall, registered voters say they favor Mr. Trump over Mr. Biden in next year’s presidential election by two percentage points, 46 percent to 44 percent. The president’s job approval rating has slid to 37 percent, down two points from July.

But there is considerable uncertainty over whether disaffected voters will even vote. While it is still early, the race is flipped among the likely electorate, with Mr. Biden leading by two percentage points.

Economic concerns remain paramount, with 34 percent of registered voters listing economic- or inflation-related concerns as the top issue facing the country. That’s down from 45 percent in October 2022, but still high.

Voters between 18 and 29 years old, traditionally a heavily Democratic demographic, jump out. Nearly three quarters of them disapprove of the way Mr. Biden is handling the conflict in Gaza. And among registered voters, they say they would vote for Mr. Trump by 49 percent to 43 percent—in July, those young voters backed Mr. Biden by 10 percentage points.

Tears of grief! According to the survey by the Times, younger voters are more likely to tilt "pro-Palestinian." Older voters are more likely to tilt "pro-Israel."

For ourselves, we want Palestinian and Israeli children—Israeli and Palestinian children—to have the chance to grow up amid peace and prosperity. But vast amounts of emotion are invested in this deeply difficult situation, and we Americans are going to have a very hard time addressing the kinds of generational divides which seem to surround it.

Tears of rage! In what ways do younger voters differ from their elders? Also, how might this ongoing situation be affecting Jewish voters?

The Times report goes into detail. Here's part of what it says:

WEISMAN ET AL: The electorate appears to be of two minds on what should come next, a cease-fire or a continuing campaign against Hamas, whose terrorist attack on Oct. 7 killed around 1,200 Israelis and set off the conflagration.

Given a choice between two courses of action, a narrow plurality of voters, 44 percent, said Israel should stop its military campaign to protect against civilian casualties, already totaling nearly 20,000 people killed, according to Gaza health authorities. A similar number, 39 percent, advised the opposite course: Israel should continue its military campaign even if it means civilian casualties in Gaza mount.

“He’s pushing Israel to pursue peace with Hamas, where I personally don’t believe Israel should seek peace with Hamas,” William Hunting, a 24-year-old libertarian who works in sales in Asheville, N.C., who favors Mr. Trump, said of Mr. Biden.

Most young voters, however, responded to question after question with answers showing that they see the worst in Israel. Few of them believe Israelis are serious about peace with the Palestinians. Nearly half say Israel is intentionally killing civilians. Nearly three-fourths say Israel is not taking enough precautions to avoid civilian casualties. And a majority oppose additional economic and military aid to Israel.

The broader electorate, by contrast, takes a much more pro-Israel view, suggesting that Israel’s image problems with American voters are more acute on the political horizon than at present.


The war also appears to be advancing the process of turning Israel into a partisan issue. For years, Republicans, led by Mr. Trump, have accused Democrats of undermining Israel’s government and have implored Jewish voters to leave the party that nearly three-quarters of them traditionally have called their political home.

Now, a partisan divide is emerging that could affect some Jewish voters’ comfort within the Democratic Party: 76 percent of Republicans said they sympathized with Israel over the Palestinians. Among white, evangelical Christians, whose theological emphasis on Israel is at the core of the G.O.P.’s unquestioning support, sympathy with Israel is even higher, at 80 percent. Democrats show no such consensus: 31 percent said they sympathized more with Israel, 34 percent with the Palestinians and 16 percent said their sympathies lay with both.

As we noted a few weeks ago, it's fairly obvious that some major figures at the Fox News Channel see this war as a chance to pull Jewish voters away from the blue tribe's political party. 

For perfectly understandable reasons, many people have very strong feelings about this ongoing situation. It's hard for us humans to be fair and balanced when situations like this one arise.

Our nation has split into red and blue tribes. It's very hard to run a modern nation this way.

People are deeply invested in their views about Israel, Hamas and Gaza. Our nation faces a very large challenge in the days and months ahead.

Second time in recent weeks: In print editions, this news report was the featured report on the New York Times' front page. Readers using the Times' two major web sites might not know that the report even exists.

This is the second time in recent weeks that we've seen this odd situation occur. Everybody makes mistakes. The Times has now made this peculiar mistake at least twice in recent weeks.


  1. The last time an American president played tough on the right wing expansionist dreams, AIPAC smeared him as an anti semite. Political action committees are not the Jewish community, they're opportunists who take advantage of the segregation of identity from real age/geographic splintering in the US.

    Dry up the material support for war and diplomacy can follow. It won't be perfect but that's what happened with the Good Friday agreement and Obama's Iran deal.

    Keep winking that a few more graves are tolerable and they will take the hint and accelerate the genocide.


  2. "Our nation has split into red and blue tribes. It's very hard to run a modern nation this way."

    Well, a multi-party political system with proportional representation would, perhaps, solve this problem.

    Or, alternatively, an absolute monarchy. Joe Biden could be declared the king. And Hunter Biden would be the next in line. He is an extremely talented painter and incredibly successful businessman, I hear. So all is well.

  3. Most, or most paying attention, have mixed feelings about Gaza and the conflict between the two people at war. Once Bob understood all vendors in the commercial press want a close election because it’s great for business. This sort of polling would seem a part of that.

  4. The music to “Tears of Rage” was written by Richard Manuel. A wonderful singer, and by all accounts a nice man and hopeless drunk.

  5. Thanks for copying and pasting that poll from the NYT. For those who don’t pay attention to anything, you’re doing a service, I guess. Never in the history of our country has there ever been a divided nation .. 🙄

  6. Trump says unusual things. I pity him so much.

  7. Trump is not eligible to be President in Colorado. I am not eligible to be Corby.

  8. After reading this blog, I despair about Biden’s terribleness. Trump is a fascist, but dang he has more energy than elderly Biden. I was a Democrat, but Somerby makes me want to stay home.

    1. Trump does not have more energy. He plays golf from a cart. Biden is running the country. Where do people who claim to be Democrats get ideas like that?

    2. No way I'd vote for Trump. If I wanted a President with teeny, tiny hands, I'd vote for my 4-year old niece.

  9. Bob Dylan is a true liberal. Or was back in the day. He’s worth $300,000,000 dollars.

  10. I’m a lifelong Democrat, but Trump is an effective leader, so I’m voting Republican next year.

    1. They don’t let Russians vote in American elections any more.

  11. Somerby worries more about the relative placement of articles in print vs media than the editors of those publications do. Where is his evidence that it matters one little bit? This is the kind of thing an autistic person would be worried about.

    1. Anonymouse 8:34pm, indeed.

      It wouldn’t hurt you to go get evaluated for it.

    2. Somerby is the one with a blog.

    3. You’re the one with the mental problems.

  12. Ketchup is the best steak sauce.