Less well known, but equally ominous, is what happened that same day, 2,500 miles east in Maine. There, the state Republican Party chucked its platform — a sensible New England mix of free-market economics and conservation — and adopted a manifesto of insanity: abolishing the Federal Reserve, calling global warming a “myth,” sealing the border, and, as a final plank, fighting “efforts to create a one world government.”

One world government? Do our friends Down East fear an invasion from the Canadian maritime provinces? A Viking flotilla coming from Iceland under cover of volcanic ash?

I was pondering this mystery while on the elliptical machine this week and watching Glenn Beck (I find he increases my heart rate), when I heard him inform his viewers that “they” — President Obama and friends — “are creating a global governance structure.”