The man who probably saved Rep. Giffords' life is twenty years old, Hispanic, and gay—and is rightly being celebrated for his quick wits and bravery.

The man who killed Pakistani politician Salman Taseer for not being jerkier about Islam is 26, Muslim, and straight—and is wrongly being celebrated for his atavism and stupidity.

KARACHI, Pakistan- The assassin has been showered with rose petals, his home has become a shrine to the faithful and thousands of supporters have marched in the streets, praising him as a heroic defender of Islam.

Mumtaz Qadri, 26, pleaded guilty Monday to murdering the governor of Punjab Province, Salman Taseer, last week. He told the judge he wanted to silence the governor's outspoken opposition to a Pakistani law that makes criticizing the Prophet Mohammed a crime punishable by death.

If any of you doubt whether it's worth kicking up dust against Palin and her cross-hairs, know this: If you sit back and watch the maniacs too long, their mania will take over the ship of state.

More than Qadri's crime, it is the reaction to it - the tepid and vague official comments, the cowed silence of affluent and professional groups, the unabashed cheers from unexpected as well as predictable quarters- that has stunned and frightened the nation's small moderate elite.

"I was sad when I heard that Taseer had been murdered, but I was really scared when I saw the response. Nobody stood up for him. They are all too afraid," said a government administrator who asked not to be named. "This is polarizing Pakistani society. People's religious feelings are being exploited, and their numbers are very, very large."

Fight them now—before it's too late.