MAYBE THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE WATER…. If I didn’t know better, I might wonder if the powers that be are distributing crazy pills in the House Republican cloakroom.

I was just talking to Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who’s leaving Congress to run for governor of Michigan, about his proposed Parental Rights Amendment — a constitutional change that would, among other things, prevent “any source of international law” to override parents’ rights. He gave me an example of how open some Democrats were to handing over American rights.

“I’m watching Neil Cavuto,” said Hoesktra, “and I see [Treasury Secretary] Tim Geithner is talking about how he might be OK with a world currency. I don’t think Americans are going to be comfortable with that. You’re going to see things that people perceive as eroding American sovereignty — this is something that’s clearly un-American. I mean, here’s the secretary of the Treasury, and instead of defending the United States and defending our currency, he’s saying he might be open to a world currency. What does that mean? It means turning our currency over to the UN.”

Hoesktra isn’t some random, no-name backbencher. He’s been in Congress for 16 years, he’s the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and next year, he expects to be the governor of one of the nation’s largest states.

And yet, here’s Hoekstra spouting ridiculous gibberish about global currencies, American sovereignty, and turning our currency over to the U.N.

What’s wrong with these people? Geithner never said he’d accept “a world currency” — he actually has vowed the opposite — the Treasury Secretary simply addressed the notion of a global reserve currency. There’s nothing “un-American” about it. That doesn’t even make any sense.

Either Hoekstra knows this, and he’s just riling up uninformed right-wing voters for partisan gain (in which case he’s a hack), or he’s popping off on a subject he knows nothing about after catching a segment on Fox News (in which case he’s both irresponsible and foolish).

On a related note, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) chatted yesterday with a right-wing blog called Atlas Shrugs — the same blog that argued in a 12,000-word post last year, in all seriousness, that Barack Obama is Malcolm X’s illegitimate son — about her conspiracy theories regarding global currencies and modern economics. Bachmann said, “And so we need to once again decide, do we want to be free, or do we want to be slaves?”

First, why would any group of people “want to be slaves”? Second, slaves to whom? Bachmann didn’t say.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.