Bravo Todd Akin. Perhaps I say that only because I am minimally vested in the GOP takeover of the Senate, and Claire McCaskill probably has a marginally better chance of holding her seat against a somewhat maladroit candidate. But Congressman Akin I have to respect. He is a conviction politician, and his world class gaffe was voiced in the context of trying to make a pro-life point. Not pretending to be pro-life in order to pander to social conservatives, so as to harvest their votes and in order to cut taxes. Really pro-life.

I am not, especially. It’s low on the scale of things I have strong convictions about. I’ve supported politicians on either side of the position. But you have to admire a man willing to stand his ground against the entire GOP hive, from Romney to Rove to Kristol to the Koch brothers to Drudge — the entire fantastic, fabulous money machine. Todd, you’re threatening to spoil their party.

Perhaps you didn’t get the memo. The idea is that you are always supposed to say you’re pro-life, but ensure there are never any actual pro-life legislation or judicial rulings.   That way, you and fellow pro-lifers  can be ginned up in a perpetual state of culture war anger, and the GOP can harvest your votes. But you’re not supposed to take the issue too emotionally. Not take it into realms where you might have elaborate on positions that might be genuinely unpopular — such as in the case of rape. That would require trying to persuade, and perhaps to think out loud, and you can see where that has led.

But really, Bravo. Standing up against the united party establishment over a matter of conviction is a rare and precious thing in American politics. I probably don’t want you to win (unless of course you completely surprise me by expanding your inquiries to include questions of Just War and American foreign policy, and explore the question of drones). But there aren’t many men who would act as you did. Bravo.