Salon.com has posted a very useful guide to Dictator Mubarak's influential American friends.
For most of them it comes down to a simple equation:
Democracy v. American and Israeli interests (as though they're the same thing).
And it's an easy call: Egyptians' human rights are far less important than maintaining the status quo. Occasionally - but not always - hidden is the claim that Egyptians and/or Muslims in general are incapable of behaving moderately, democratically or sensibly: simple racism.
However: these loud outriders aren't the only ones. While most Americans are, I suspect, largely in favour of the freedom movement (echoes of 1776 and all that) the US government's response has been very slow and cautious: the State Department is well-versed in privileging superpower hegemony over idealism.
I'd add another to this list of oligarchic tyranny cheerleaders: Tony Blair, who threw his largely discredited weight behind Mubarak.
Oh, and Silvio Berlusconi, who called him 'the wisest of men'. You can tell the quality of a man by the company he keeps - and that works both ways.