SUV Democrat


SUV Democrat
n.
A politician (particularly one who is a member of the U.S. Democratic Party) who talks about energy conservation but who owns and drives a fuel-inefficient sport utility vehicle.
Example Citation:
"Not to her great credit, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein owns a gas-guzzling SUV, even though she believes in global warming and doesn't want to drill in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In fact, last year the Los Angeles Times reported that she owned three SUVs. Which makes her your perfect 'SUV Democrat."
— Debra J. Saunders, "Close SUV Loophole," The San Francisco Chronicle, May 10, 2001
Earliest Citation:
There are important differences in other areas. The former president opposed drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Mr. Bush — all bow — supports drilling in the refuge, even if that offends the sensibilities of Bay Area SUV Democrats.
—Debra J. Saunders, "White House and green myths," The Washington Times, April 14, 2001
Notes:
The phrase sport utility vehicle (SUV) entered the language in the 1970s, although in its earliest incarnations it most often shows up as sports utility vehicle (as well as sports-utility vehicle and sports/utility vehicle):
Four-wheel drive is increasingly popular. A decade ago, about the only U.S.-made '4 by 4's,' as the industry calls them, were Jeeps and International Harvester's Scouts. Today every truck manufacturer offers four-wheel drive not only on sports utility vehicles but also on pickups — where it is a more and more common option — and suburbans as well.
— Charles G. Burck, "Trucks Muscle in on the Car Market," Fortune, February 27, 1978
The abbreviation SUV didn't get a toe-hold in the lexicon until about 10 years later:
Ford, meanwhile, is planning to freshen up or completely redesign all of its light-truck recreational vehicle products in the early 1990s, in part to take full advantage of expected demand in the SUV segment of the market.
— Al Wrigley, "Ford picks Budd to supply Bronco II components," Metalworking News, June 29, 1987
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