Jon Coumes

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

Recent Articles

How to Solve America in One Easy Step

Want to receive our daily political roundup in your inbox? Sign up for Ringside Seat by creating an account at the Prospect here and ticking off "Ringside Seat" in the Newsletter-subscription options. 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...

Thanks for Nothing, Sandra Day O'Connor

Want to receive our daily political roundup in your inbox? Sign up for Ringside Seat by creating an account at the Prospect here and ticking off "Ringside Seat" in the Newsletter-subscription options. 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. Which is why so many of us were unimpressed when Sandra Day O'Connor, after years of defending the Supreme Court's intervention in Bush v. Gore , told the Chicago Tribune , "Maybe the court should have said, 'We're not going to take it, goodbye,'" since the case "gave the Court a less...

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. A couple of weeks ago, we learned that the flagging news network is looking to revive Crossfire , the horror show of partisan bickering that it featured for more than two interminable decades beginning in the early 1980s. When Jon Stewart went on the show in late 2004 and begged the hosts to "stop hurting America," it was as though the veil had been lifted and everyone finally realized how awful it truly was. The show was put out of its considerable misery...

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 Only in the modern day would McLovin get laid and not a beating. In years past, playing Dungeons & Dragons was as bad as smoking crack on the after-school special scale of things; today, we’re in the middle of a board game renaissance . In the '80s, we had the panty- and tech-obsessed flies-on-the-wall in Sixteen Candles who couldn’t imagine talking to a girl; the '90s gave us Office Space’ s Milton Waddams and his stutterous Swingline obsession. On TV, geeks were the butt of the joke— Minkus and Urkel set the standard. Now we’ve got Big Bang Theory topping the charts (bad as it is) and Community ’s Abed getting the girl . But it’s all in jeopardy. There’s a sweaty, lonely, sexist underbelly at the grassroots of geekery—the nerds of the nerds—that’s threatening the cool we’ve spent decades cultivating. And thanks to digital interconnectivity, the trolls at the geek fringe are more of a danger to society than they get credit for. This digital...

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. You founded Catholics for Equality in 2010—did the timing have anything to do with the way Pop Benedict's tenure was going? It’s a ‘both and’ answer. Because the energy coming from the Vatican under Benedict’s rein was to quash any pro LGBT quality legislation around the world. And the bishops were given the charge to put their resources into stopping marriage bills, adoption bills. But also they have fought fair employment, housing, and other access/accommodation issues around the world. When he was running the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , [Benedict crafted] the “...