MORE PASSION FOR A SHUTDOWN THAN FOR JOB CREATION…. Yesterday, Sen.-elect Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said shutting down the government would be “a mistake,” adding, “Nobody really wants that.”

“Nobody” is clearly an overstatement. ThinkProgress caught up with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who happens to be stark raving mad, and who seemed quite animated about the idea.

“Listen, if it takes a shutdown of government to stop the runaway spending, we owe that to our children and our grandchildren. I don’t have any grandchildren yet, but if we don’t stop the runaway spending — even if it means showing how serious we are — okay, government is going to have to shut down until you runaway-spending people get it under control. And if you can’t get it under control, then we just stop government until you realize, you know, yes we can.”

Now, obviously Gohmert isn’t especially bright, and the poor schmo doesn’t really know what he wants to cut or why. What’s more, the shutdown he and his ilk are so excited about would be dreadful for the country, a fact that the right-wing Texan also doesn’t seem capable of understanding.

But watching Gohmert’s passion on the subject got me thinking. Asked about cutting spending (on something, at some point) got the congressman pretty excited. Maybe not “terror baby” excited, but clearly he felt strongly about this, and has a real zeal for slashing the budget. It’s a fairly common sentiment among congressional Republicans.

Just once, though, I’d love to see a Republican official talk like this about creating jobs. With an unemployment rate near 10%, it’s tempting to think an ascendant GOP would talk about nothing else right now (you know, “where are the jobs?” and all that).

But, no. Republicans bring real enthusiasm for cutting spending, gutting health care, and cutting taxes for the wealthy, but have practically nothing to say about the single highest priority of the American mainstream. Ask about shutting down the government, and you’ll hear passion. Ask about creating jobs, and you’ll hear crickets.

Congratulations, voters, this is what you asked for two weeks ago.

Steve Benen

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.