Possibly the most positive thing Washington has done so far for the Egyptian protesters is not to declare a "roadmap" for democratic transition. You'll remember how well the Middle East roadmap heralded by Bush, Powell and Rice worked out.
Yet the Egyptians who may eventually lead a democratic Egypt are looking for American help, now. To date the White House has appeared stymied. It's made phone calls but that seems to be about it.
Mubarak and Suleiman say they're going to effect a transition but why would anyone believe either of them or their senior henchmen? But what if they had a reason to live up to their promises or plenty of reasons? What if Washington and London and the Europeans put the personal assets of Mubarak & Co. in "safekeeping" until Egypt had held fair and open elections while honouring its promises not to take reprisals on the protesters in the meantime? It should only be a matter of a few months' inconvenience if the Mubarak regime is being honest and sincere.
Maybe that would give the pro-democracy leadership the breathing room they need to organize parties and platforms in time to campaign in an election. Let the winners on behalf of the voting public write the new constitution. Maybe they would even ask the Americans for some ideas.