Wednesday, March 16, 2022


There are few things conservatives, aside from arguing for reducing taxes on the very wealthy, are more fond of than accusing liberals of "elitism" or simply making things up. And so it was that on the March 11 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, Batya Ungar-Sargon maintained

This week, as we saw gas prices climb really high, we heard a lot of these rich, very liberal celebrities out there being like, you know, "I am willing to pay up to 15 dollars or President Biden saying "it's going to hurt, it's going to hurt" or Bette Midler saying "I'm willing to pay more." She's worth 250 million dollars. It's class warfare masquerading as vanity morals. It's the morals of the elite and who has to pay the price- the working class..... It's like the 'let them eat cake' of 2020. Let them drive electric cars, right?

Encouraging through government tax policy or subsidy the electric vehicle industry is an issue in its own right, although ridiculing it while gas prices "climb really high" seems like awfully bad timing, or would be if fellow panelist Frank Bruni brought anything to the table.

I myself have questioned survey results indicating that Americans are very willing to pay significantly higher gas prices as a cost of cutting off energy supplies from Vladimir Putin's Russia. Nonetheless, they say they would do so, and it's likely they include many members of the working class. We learned on March 8:

The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll on the security crisis in Ukraine shows Americans would like political leaders to provide a united front supporting Ukraine, ahead of domestic political rivalries (80%). The survey also shows three in five Americans (63%) continue to be willing to pay more for gasoline to continue to support a democratic country, including a large majority (80%) who support stopping oil and gas purchases from Russia.

It turns out that Ungar-Sargon was not only engaging in an ad hominem attack, but also a made-up one.  Seemingly, she was repeating a popular social media complaint about Midler based upon a tweet of hers which said nothing about gasoline for $15:


Typically, conservatives blast the left personally while alleging something which does not exist. Unfortunately, it frequently works because no one expects the charge because it is made up. It's hard to defend someone against a claim which comes out of left field from the feverish right-wing imagination. That's especially true when the liberal on the panel is someone such as Frank Bruni, who, truth be told, takes up space.

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