I would submit that he is equally amoral as Karl Rove but less competent.
Rove at least seemed to have a coherent plan to keep his guy in office: smear and fear. Smear your critics, make the public and legislators fear terrorists and crossing Bush. While the corruption and incompetence of the Bushies at actually governing or conducting a war led to their eventual train wreck, Rove's smoke and mirrors were enough to get Bush into his second term.
By contrast, whatever political advice Rahm Emanuel is giving Obama seems solely designed to appeal to corporate patrons with little thought to how it will play with average Americans, particularly, no thought to how the public will react if the final form of health insurance reform is perceived as a gift to insurance companies instead of helping the rest of us.
It is really dishonest to say they are ''moderate'' or ''pragmatic'' when in reality, they are serving their corporate donors and future corporate employers rather than the wishes of their constituents.
This has been made most obvious in polls of voters in blue dogs' states and districts about the public option in health care reform:
Even voters who reside in more conservative districts are not retarded or prefer being raped by insurance companies to having access to something like Medicare as an alternative.
In fact, one CBS poll found that even Republican voters favor a public option.
Even in places where people have drunken the conservative KoolAid and think they don't want a public option, once they had it given to them, they would probably cling to as tenaciously as the teabaggers cling to Medicare, even as they decry ''socialized medicine.''
Giving people a real public option would yield long term dividends for the Democrats.
Even severe compromises on health care would have been easier to swallow if Obama had taken swift action to punish, rein in, and neuter Wall Street--especially after giving them the second half of the Bush no strings attached bailout.
Obama has certainly done good things on less visible issues like student aid and repairing our image abroad although even the foreign affection for Obama will wear off if he continues Bush like policies in Afghanistan and starts a new Operation Condor in Latin America.
And if corporate compliant Rahm is calling the shots, that is likely to be the trajectory.
Even on the pragmatic level of giving Obama's base a reason to pound the pavement and open our wallets for him in 2012, baldly corporate first action seems stupid.
So my question is, is Rahm brilliantly playing some long game of chess on behalf of the American people, or is he so syphilictically corrupt that he can't help but do a Bush-like corporate smash-and-grab robbery of the treasury on behalf of big business?
NOTE: no offense meant to the retarded, those with syphilis, or Karl Rove