Diana West

There is a second issue to consider that also has nothing to do with what is commonly meant by the birther issue. Having weighed the arguments, it seems to me that by virtue of having a British subject for a father, Barack Obama Jr. is constitutionally ineligible to be president of the United States, no matter where he was born.

With a British father, Obama cannot meet the constitutional requirement of having been natural born, which is a different and more restrictive category than native born. Similarly ineligible, I would add, are Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, and, alas, Ted Cruz of Texas, both of whom have parents who were not citizens when they were born.

So, getting back to the Obama case, tell me where the racism is in these concerns. Where is it? Identity theft per se is hardly a pathology of black America. Meanwhile, British paternity, even if it does, in Obama's case, come via Africa, is the very disqualifier the Founders had in mind on crafting the natural born criterion more than two centuries ago to guard against a president with divided loyalties. Where is the racism in trying to address these weighty matters of the Constitution, law and state?

Nowhere. Racism is simply a buzzword to further stymie the already strangled birther issue.

So how did Hannity reply to the argument that conservatives were racist due to broaching the birther argument?

He challenged his interlocutor: "Name three prominent conservatives who were advancing the birther issue.

With this reply, Hannity accepted the charge that the whole subject is racist,; and the argument that this racist; subject is also baseless. It was the last straw.

Which means what exactly? Nothing. Hannity is right. Aside from Alan Keyes, a former U.S. ambassador to the UN and a Republican candidate for the Senate and the presidency, no prominent Republican -- from John McCain to Mitt Romney to John Boehner to Ron Paul -- and no prominent conservative, from William Bennett to Sarah Palin to Rudy Giuliani, ever faced or raised the issue.

Similarly, no think tank, no committee in Congress, no judicial body, no civic group and no mainstream media organization has advanced any responsible inquiry into these troubling questions. And forget about the Electoral College.

We're supposed to pretend the questions don't exist, that the dodgy doc floating on the White House website is the real deal -- and I haven't even mentioned other discrepancies in the Obama narrative. Silence, the conventional wisdom tells us, combats racism.

What chance does any free society in such deep denial have to continue? Not much. How tragic and frightening to realize that this same denial is evidence that our attachment to freedom and the Constitution vanished long ago.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).