Jonathan V. Last

Jonathan V. Last is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard. His writings have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New York Post, the Claremont Review of Books, First Things, the Week, Salon, Slate, TV Guide, and elsewhere.

Stories by Jonathan V. Last

The Fairness Doctrine

12:00 AM, Nov 30, 2015
Having a decidedly anti-romantic view of college, I find myself not entirely opposed to the student radicals besieging campuses across the country. Once upon a time, universities transmitted knowledge and formed the minds and characters of young adults. But that ended long before I arrived at... Read more

There Has Never, Ever Been Anyone Like Donald Trump

12:14 PM, Nov 25, 2015
I'm ready to concede that Donald Trump is the most anomalous figure I've seen in presidential politics. He has defied the laws of electioneering so many times - reversing his favorable-unfavorable numbers despite universal name identification; thriving in the wake of incidents that would have... Read more

Princeton’s Snowflake Fascists Get a Scalp

12:34 PM, Nov 23, 2015
We have yet to find a term for the student protests going on across the country that beats Mona Charen’s “snowflake fascists” and last week the precious little Maoists at Princeton got the biggest scalp since Tim Wolfe: They brought down Woodrow Wilson himself. A group of fifteen Princeton... Read more

Notes on the Paris Attack

12:29 PM, Nov 19, 2015
There are a few tentative observations to be gleaned in the aftermath of the Paris attacks: * Claire Berlinski has a helpful dispatch  in which she touches on the resistance graffiti that has now sprung up around the city ("Fluctuat nec Mergitur," or "Tossed by the waves, but not... Read more

5 Weird Moments at the Fox Business Debate

04:45 PM, Nov 11, 2015
There were a few weird moments at the debate last night, but none was stranger than the crowd reaction when John Kasich and Jeb Bush were talking about immigration. Both were unapologetically pro-amnesty. Neither bothered to make concessions about how problematic the breakdown of the rule of law... Read more

Winners & Losers

11:35 PM, Nov 10, 2015
It’s a rare debate where no one comes out feeling like they won. Some thoughts on how the field performed: Ben Carson: It’s impossible to tell how he did. He looked at sea on substantive questions. Yes, as the boss noted, his weirdly effective tactic is to never criticize other... Read more

Christie Excels, Jindal Goes Rabid

08:51 PM, Nov 10, 2015
Going in, Chris Christie was the guy to watch at the undercard debate. He’s moving in New Hampshire, he handled his relegation with grit, and people are finally starting to see what a talent he is. Clearly, he wanted to replicate what Carly Fiorina did in the first kids’ table debate by... Read more

Gerry Baker and the Anti-CNBC Debate

03:04 PM, Nov 10, 2015
Tonight’s debates on Fox Business should be notable for a number of reasons: * The undercard debate could be very interesting. If, a year ago, I had told you that there would be two debates—one featuring Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Santorum and one featuring... Read more

The War on Christmas Has Begun!

09:29 AM, Nov 10, 2015
It seems like the Christmas season starts a little earlier each year. A couple years back I was shocked when Costco put out Christmas items the week after Halloween; now the Christmas decorations are on sale weeks before trick-or-treating. And this year, even the War on Christmas has come... Read more

Take the CNBC Debate Quiz!

12:10 PM, Nov 03, 2015
Before it recedes entirely into the rearview mirror, it’s worth one last look at CNBC’s debate debacle (debatacle?) which was, as my buddy Michael Graham put it, a trainwreck into a dumpster fire. If you watched the debate then you know how bad the CNBC moderators were: They exhibited the... Read more

We Have Our Final Six

10:16 PM, Oct 28, 2015
Tonight’s debate showed that the GOP field is smaller than it looks. Technically, there are still fourteen people running, but the winnowing is far along. We probably have a final six and possibly a final four. The three winners of the night were pretty obvious: Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and... Read more

Jeb’s Dead: Adiós Amigo

08:29 PM, Oct 28, 2015
The Bush hit on Rubio was obviously premeditated, so it wasn’t gaffe or a mistake. It was a revealing measure of his political talent and judgment. Let’s count the ways in which it was strategically ill-conceived and tactically incompetent: 1) He attacked Rubio not from a position of... Read more

Fight Night for Republicans

11:25 AM, Oct 28, 2015
In a lot of ways, tonight’s Republican debate looks like the lowest-stakes of the three debates so far. We know what the candidates all look like in a debate setting; we know which lanes they're each slotted into. And while there will be ten candidates on stage, the field really isn't that big... Read more

Decline and Fall of the Empire

11:41 AM, Oct 20, 2015
Ben Domenech gets right to the heart of what we see in the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer: [I]t rejects the core narrative assumption of the entire original trilogy and the prequels—that is, the assumption of the viewer that this is a story about the Skywalker family... Read more

Chaos at the Vatican

10:04 AM, Oct 17, 2015
Everyone talks about “chaos” in Congress just because Republicans haven’t chosen a new speaker of the House. If you want to see real chaos, look at Rome, where Pope Francis’s synod on the family has been a shambling disaster since the moment it started. Check that—the meltdown started... Read more

Hillary Hugs Obama at Every Turn

10:59 PM, Oct 13, 2015
Going into tonight, the conventional wisdom was that Bernie Sanders would try to genially introduce himself, the candidates would mostly stay in their own lanes, and that Hillary was a bleeding target. Not so much. Instead, everyone came loaded for bear. Sanders was combative almost right... Read more

Dem Fight Night—Down Goes Hillary!

08:01 AM, Oct 13, 2015
I've been saying for the last few weeks that Hillary Clinton's campaign is in a window of danger. Tonight might be the moment of maximal peril. To recap: It's highly unlikely that Clinton could lose the Democratic nomination to Bernie Sanders. Even if Sanders were to win Iowa and New... Read more

The Pope Proves the Fatuousness of the American Left

11:41 AM, Oct 06, 2015
About 48 hours after Pope Francis decamped from America's greatest city, reports started circulating in the press - later confirmed by the Vatican-that the Holy Father had secretly met with Kim Davis, that Kentucky clerk who refused to grant same-sex marriage licenses. Davis, you'll... Read more

Hillary in Danger at the Dem Debate

01:04 PM, Sep 30, 2015
We're two weeks from the first Democratic debate and to be honest with you, I can't tell right now if we are underestimating Hillary Clinton's weakness, or her strength. It isn't exactly conventional wisdom, but the conventional swerve is that Clinton is incredibly vulnerable. Because I'm a... Read more

The Pope Storms Turtle Bay

03:44 PM, Sep 25, 2015
Pope Francis spoke at the United Nations Friday morning and his remarks were, more or less, what was expected: a long push for climate change legislation mixed with concern about the world’s unjust economy. So in general, there wasn’t much to see. But in their particulars, some of the... Read more

Francis Day 3: The Tambourining

01:06 PM, Sep 24, 2015
Pope Francis spoke to Congress this morning and Ross Douthat had an observation which helps a great deal in understanding the man:   The Holy Father's politics, as w/his predecessors, defy easy right-left categorization. Not sure that's true of his political *priorities.* — Ross... Read more

The 'Sharing Economy' and Other Media Lies

07:35 AM, Sep 24, 2015
If you've followed the technology world over the last five years, you know that the three buzziest trends in Silicon Valley have been "social media," "mobile computing," and the "sharing economy." On the off-chance you've never heard of the sharing economy, here's a thumbnail definition,... Read more

Pope Francis and the Bishops

03:29 PM, Sep 23, 2015
After his morning visit with President Obama, Pope Francis ambled over to St. Matthew’s Cathedral (which is easily the most beautiful building in Washington) to meet with America’s bishops.   The Holy Father’s remarks were long, at times beautiful, and occasionally befuddling. For... Read more

President Selfie Stick Welcomes Pope Tambourines to the White House

01:06 PM, Sep 23, 2015
Say this for President Obama: His troll game is strong. During his opening remarks welcoming Pope Francis, he abandoned his “freedom to worship” language and instead said: “People are only free when they can practice their faith freely.” And that, “We in the United States cherish our religious... Read more

Pope Francis Dismisses Cuban Dissidents

08:00 AM, Sep 23, 2015
On the continuing question of whether Pope Francis is a menace or a farce, the Holy Father offered another data point during an interview with members of the media aboard his flight to the United States on Tuesday. CNN’s Rosa Flores asked a pretty straightforward question about Francis’s... Read more

Would a Muslim President Be Good on Gay Marriage?

06:06 AM, Sep 22, 2015
Because presidential politics are as much about in-group signaling as actual policy, Ben Carson is locked in a media-generated controversy about whether or not he’d be down with having a Muslim president. Carson was asked about this deeply-important question on Meet the Press. He said no. And... Read more

Walker, Busted

05:05 PM, Sep 21, 2015
It’s hard to exaggerate how shocking it is that Scott Walker is out of the 2016 race on September 21. On April 1, he led the field with 17 percent in the RealClearPolitics polling average. On August 1, he was in second place, behind Donald Trump, with 13 percent. And in the seven weeks... Read more

Pope Francis: Menace or Farce?

01:32 PM, Sep 19, 2015
Back in 1999, The Weekly Standard ran one of my favorite cover lines ever: The New Europe: Menace or Farce? I often think of that question when I watch Pope Francis. It’s only been two and a half years since Francis assumed the chair of St. Peter, yet he’s already compiled an entire... Read more

Is Everything We Know Wrong?

08:09 AM, Sep 18, 2015
Say what you will about the Romney 2012 campaign, but Stuart Stevens is bright, perceptive, and candid—always worth listening to. So I was struck by his observation about Donald Trump during the course of an interview with New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman: “ For Donald Trump to win,... Read more

The Trump Show, Act II

11:12 AM, Sep 16, 2015
It's fight night again and if the second GOP debate is anything like the first (no guarantees on that, by the way) then whatever happens tonight will shape the next several weeks of the race. Last time around, we previewed the debate by looking at the various candidates' upside and downside... Read more