Lexus liberal
n. A person who is liberal in words but not in deeds.
Last week the Supreme Court [of Canada] resoundingly affirmed the rights of pregnant Canadian women to liberty and autonomy. Women's groups applauded…Among aboriginal communitites [Fetal Alcohol Syndrome] is an epidemic…Next to this devastation, the rejoicings of women's groups and Lexus liberals seem remarkably cruel.
—Margaret Wente, “Slaughter of Human Potential,” The Globe and Mail, November 08, 1997
My spies say the long knives are being sharpened at KGO (810-AM) for talk show host Bernie Ward. The scrappy liberal was told last month his contract wouldn't be renewed. Word is they're thinking about moving daytime talker Gene Burns into Ward's 7 to 10 p.m. slot. That'll make more room for red-hot Dr. Laura Schlessinger, now on only an hour at noon. The switch would give the level-headed psychologist another couple hours of airtime. Ward, called ''the Lexus liberal'' by his enemies at the station — he's got one — has been a magnet for controversy.
—Jerry Carroll, “Read Between the Folds,” The San Francisco Chronicle, October 10, 1997
1996 (earliest)
Vello's big campaign promises were to get youth gangs off the street and clean up public transit. The plan turned out to be a model of efficiency. He would do both at once: Put the youth gangs on buses as security guards, and let them clean the floor with those who don't stand behind the yellow line. This is San Francisco, so the plan is applauded by Lexus liberals as a model for rehabilitating troubled youth.
—Rob Morse, “Anon., and on and on,” The San Francisco Examiner, January 28, 1996
This phrase is based on the type of people who claim to champion the cause of the working poor, but who revel in the luxuries of life, such as Lexus automobiles.
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