Jon Coumes

Jon Coumes is a spring 2013 intern at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

How to Solve America in One Easy Step

This morning, Republican senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania made an astonishing admission: The whole reason Republicans opposed expanded background checks for gun-purchasers was President Obama. It wasn't that the president went too far or that he was making unreasonable demands; it was just that Obama supported the proposal on the table. As Toomey said, “There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it.”

That is incredible. It’s as if a good chunk of the GOP has regressed to kindergarten, where they refuse to play with toys that someone else likes.

If there’s a silver lining to this revelation, it’s that it offers a way forward for President Obama as he tries to pursue his agenda. Namely, he has to pretend that it isn’t his agenda.

Thanks for Nothing, Sandra Day O'Connor

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For many—most?—liberals, the aftermath of the 2000 election is like an old injury that won't heal. Most of the time you don't think about it, but if someone touches it, the old pain flares up again. Despite Antonin Scalia's frequent admonition to "Get over it!", doing so is awfully hard. Had George W. Bush been a run-of-the-mill Republican president, it might have been easier. But he wasn't; he was an epically awful president whose ability to cut such a far-reaching path of destruction made him exceptional.

Ringside Seat: Crossfrankly

Turn on cable news at most times of the day, and you can find a "debate" in which a program's host throws questions to two guests, one a conservative and one a liberal, invited on for their ability to slog their way through five soul-deadening minutes of motive-questioning and oft-repeated talking points. If you've ever watched one of these and said to yourself, "Maybe they should just lose the host and have these two yell at each other directly. And extend it to a whole half-hour!", then there might be a job waiting for you at CNN.

What Do Men's Rights Activists and Bronies Have in Common?

After contending with decades of scorn, geeks are finally at the cool kids' table. Unless the weird and misogynistic fringes of nerd culture topple it all. 

flickr/Ian Muttoo

Rex Features via AP Images

Return of the Ratzinger

With Benedict around for the selection of his successor, a new Pope might not mean new hope for progressive Catholicism.

AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano

Conclave is coming, and by hook or by crosier, we’ll have a new Pope before Passover. Papal elections can spell change for the congregations of the world’s largest church, so we talked to a priest to get a handle on things. Joseph Palacios is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and the founder of pro-gay-marriage group Catholics for Equality. He is on leave from his diocese in Los Angeles.