AMERICANS HAVE A LONG, depressing history of idealizing foreign political movements and revolutions. Even some followers of Thomas Jefferson fawned over the French Revolution, mistaking it for an ideological cousin of America's own campaign for liberty. It was not until the onset of the Terror and its overtime use of the guillotine that admirers in the United States belatedly recoiled in horror. Now we have two new examples of Americans projecting democratic values onto murky foreign upheavals. One occurred in Honduras, where the military ousted left-wing President Manuel Zelaya and sent him into exile. American opinion leaders immediately took sides. The Obama administration stressed that Zelaya was democratically elected and demanded that he be restored to office. Conservatives asserted that Zelaya's opponents were the real democrats. This was not an old-fashioned Latin American coup, they insisted, noting that the army chiefs acted only after both the Honduran supreme court and national legislature urged them to do so. Zelaya, American critics charged, was a Hugo Chavez clone who unconstitutionally sought to extend his term and create a dictatorship.