Allen is the Senate's foremost expert in a certain kind of guyness. He will pour good-natured scorn on any softness. "with cream in it?" he asks incredulously in a CNN green room. "That's not real coffee." His brother Gregory is a psychologist, and recently made a reference to the TV show 24, which Allen says was lost on him. As is any other program "not of Fox, CNN, or ESPN." . . .
Allen has benchmarks for whether he will instantly find someone compatible or not. If he likes NASCAR is one, and "if his driver is Earnhardt Jr., that's someone I agree with." . . . If he is a rough-and-tumble Oakland Raiders fan, that's another good indicator. If he is a Harley-Davidson rider, that's still another. These are all signs, as Allen puts it, of, "good, individualistic, non-conformist minds."
I hate "guyness," a sort of vicarious masculinity derived from passive activities such as viewing professional sports. Rich Lowry, on the other hand, has such low standards that he swoons over a Republican politican man enough to take his coffee black. Allen's other announced tastes have the feel of focus group testing. Sure, Harleys are cool, but riding one is no more indicative of a "non-conformist" mind than riding the bus. I would give Allen credit if he chose as his favorite NASCAR driver a Virginian such as Elliot Sadler or Ricky Rudd. Choosing Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes it look as if an aide suggested him after a few minutes of research.
One would think that after five years of President Bush -- who at least has to occasionally clear some brush to look macho -- that even the guys at NR would be looking for a change. Does George Allen consider evidence, or just rely on his "gut." Does he ever read sissy newspapers or magazines? We don't find out from Lowry, who is too taken by George Allen's love of chewing tobacco to ask.