Since the end of Hosni Mubarak, the air has been thick with descriptions of the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi as moderates. …

After Mubarak’s fall, we fooled ourselves about the level of support for the Brotherhood. We fooled ourselves about the Brotherhood abiding by its promise not to run for the presidency. We fooled ourselves about what a Morsi victory would mean for democracy. Why stop fooling ourselves now? …

The administration’s reaction to Morsi’s decree has been, “Well, golly, we hope everyone can talk things through.” In its mealy-mouthed noncondemnations, the Obama administration does no favors to the real moderates in the streets of Egypt pushing to get Morsi to back down.

But delusion is hard to give up. We always want to believe that other people are just like us and have, at bottom, the same practical concerns. It’s simply not true of fanatics. “This revolution was not about the price of watermelons,” Ayatollah Khomeini once told an aide worried about inflation.