I can't decide why I fear an Obama presidency. Half the time I think he's a weak poser who's never done anything and I fear he will be a disaster who will end up more despised by his own party than Bush is now (See Thomas Sowell, Ego & Mouth, today). Half the time I think he knows what he's doing and will be a destroyer of liberty, not just a bad president (you can always recover from a bad president; I don't know how easily we'll recover from a usurper). See Richard Adams here, eg.
we know that Senator Obama knows how to play hardball. In his first race he sued to get everyone else off the ballot. And in 2004, his minions pushed to have the divorce proceedings of his opponent revealed to the public. A few years ago, he did not assist a bipartisan effort to defeat a Chicago machine apparachik in a race for the Cook County Board President. Perhaps Obama judged that the machine candidate would win anyway, and, therefore, there was no reason to oppose the machine. Or perhaps he is comfortable working with the machine (perhaps because he wished to move it to serve his own ends).
[snip] ... He keeps saying that Senator McCain is replacing $12,000 worth of health benefits with $5,000 of tax breaks. (It is not his fault that Senator McCain did not respond by asking "does anyone think I would design a plan that would leave workers $7,000 in the hole? That $5,000 is to pay taxes on precisely that $12,000 Senator Obama keeps talking about. And he says he wants to change the tone of Washington . . .)

The Obama campaign kicked the reporters for papers that endorsed Senator McCain off the campaign’s plane, and the campaign has refused to give another interview ever again to a TV station that asked Senator Biden tough questions in an interview. The campaign and its friends has sued or threatened to sue its critics. Senator Obama has not held a press conference in ages, or even given reporters significant access. When Jake Tapper caught up with Obama on an airport tarmac just today, and asked the Senator how he would spend the $700 billion in funds now allocated to backstop the financial system, Obama refused to respond, saying it was not the time or place. When Tapper suggested that he hold a press conference. Obama said he would do so on Wednesday.

Senator Obama has sat back and allowed his campaign to make it relatively easy to contribute illegally. (As I understand it, the default settings of credit card receiving software check the credit card number against the name and address. If that’s the case, the people raising money for Senator Obama, unlike those doing so for Senator McCain, turned that part of the software off.) In all these cases, Obama is being an effective politician. He is doing everything he can within the law to further his own cause. Moreover, he is good at working the system. He is, in other words, a clever lawyer and will probably be an effective bureaucrat. He is a good politician who knows how to get the nasty parts of the business done, even as he seems to be above the fray.[Plus there's the ACORN/Gamaliel/Wright/Pfleger/Ayers/Dohrn/Khalidi/Farrakhan connection-ed]

But how will Obama legislate? And how will he deal with questions that can’t be handled in that manner? Does he have real backbone? Has he ever dealt with a situation where the tools of organization, litigation, protest, and legislation don’t provide the answer? How will he act when that case comes up? Senator Obama recently declared that "Power concedes nothing without a fight." When our system of freewheeling debate and checks and balances opposes him, will he see it as part of the constitutional system he is sworn to "preserve, protect, and defende" or as a power to be opposed? Is that rhetoric that a master politician is using to fire up his base, or a declaration of principles? (In short, what rules of the game will a President Obama observe? Does anyone know for sure?)

Regarding legislation, is his comment about using the tax system to make coal power impossible a sign? It would be a good way to kill the industry without seeming to. Is that what he really wants to do, or was that what he said to please the audience of a liberal radio station? In foreign policy, recall this bit from the debates, discussing sitting down with Ahmadinejad without preconditions: "So we sit down with Iran and they say they’ll wipe Israel off the face of the map and we say ’No you won’t’?" How would a President Obama respond to such a situation? McCain gave a fair summary of what Obama seemed to be saying. Presumably there is more to Obama’s position, but what is it? We don’t know. And, given Obama’s professed hope to bring us all together, will he regard those who oppose his plans with the good will he has often displayed in his manner? Or will he try to shut them up as his campaign has tried to do? (An extension of his litigation against his political opponants in the past?) (Does he agree with his friend Cass Sunstein that the government must regulate speech and the press in order to re-unify our culture in the age of talk radio and the internet.) All these questions remain unanswered as we go to the polls.

Of course feckless and evil aren't mutually exclusive. Whatever he ends up doing in foreign policy, there's this. Anthony Esolen again, this time reflecting on what Obama can mean by calling himself a Christian. He notes another instance of using words to mean their precise antonyms:

Now if you are a Christian, you should say so. Indeed, you must say so, for "he who denies me before men, him also I will deny before my Father." To say, instead, that you are "rooted in the Christian tradition" is rather like Georgetown's saying that they are a "school in the Jesuit tradition." The irony is, of course, that Georgetown is certainly not a school in the Jesuit tradition, if that tradition includes the founder of the Jesuit order, Ignatius of Loyola, and the next three to four centuries of Jesuits who spread the Christian faith across the world. Georgetown is really a school in the Jesuit revolt from Jesuit tradition, a revolt of less than a century's age. It's an odd thing, but nowadays people often invoke the word "tradition" to distance themselves from the reality that gave rise to the tradition in the first place.

So "rooted in tradition" actually means "repudiating the tradition" in common parlance.

I do know that the Christian tradition sees patriotism as a form of piety, and as falling under the commandment to honor our father and our mother. That tradition would look with suspicion upon someone who could not bring himself to utter words that place his country under the protection and supervision of God. I wonder, too, what tradition smiles upon seeking patronage from the vilest despisers of one's country. What genuine member of the Jewish faith would seek patronage from an unrepentant Joseph Mengele? But William Ayres and Bernardine Dohrn never did anything as vile as Mengele did. No, probably not. But I will have to let God or Dante judge among the relative vileness of experimenting upon human beings and murdering one's countrymen in an attempt to foment revolution. And as for experimenting upon human beings, the evil Doctor Mengele must be pleased to learn that we will now be creating human life precisely for that purpose.
Yes, I have been thinking about Dr. Mengele recently, because Hitch is supporting Obama supposedly because Sarah Palin is anti-science for opposing stem cell research. I'm a little tired of the anti-science trope, especially coming from supporters of the candidate with 65,000 worshippers chanting his name. Is there any science you would repudiate, I want to ask Hitch?

Esolen continues, still whupping Mr. O, but I thought this was lovely about McCain, too.

we have two candidates, one of whom I find quite personable on an ordinary and trivial human level (Mr. Obama), and the other of whom seems to me, in his personality, as cuddly as a porcupine. But Mr. McCain was willing to give his life, and came near enough to doing so, to a country that mismanaged the war he fought, and perhaps did not deserve his devotion. Yet he gave that devotion, and he has never had an unkind word to say about America. He loves the country which took so much from him. Mr. Obama, by contrast, has nothing but unkind things to say about the America from which he has received so much. Mr. McCain speaks and acts as if he were in his country's debt. Mr. Obama speaks and acts as if his country were in his debt. There is a name for that attitude, as all children know.