Cantor discovers he likes compromise after all

The lack of self-awareness from the oft-confused House Majority Leader is striking.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Tuesday took a shot at what he called the White House’s “all-or-nothing” approach on President Barack Obama’s jobs plan, saying that method won’t fly in Congress.

Cantor, a Republican from Virginia, jumped on remarks by strategist David Axelrod, who said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that Obama’s American Jobs Act is “not an a la carte menu,” but rather “a strategy to get this country moving.”

Obama’s “message — all or nothing, take it or leave it — that’s just not the way I think anything works and certainly not the way Washington works,” Cantor said during a jobs summit sponsored by the American Action Forum. “We’ve been there, done that for the last eight months.”

When Cantor says “we” have done “that” for the last eight months, I’m curious who and what he’s referring to.

It’s true that the White House, when it comes to the American Jobs Act, is taking a tougher bargaining position than usual. Indeed, the president and his team appear to be using the same kind of tactics Republicans tend to prefer — present an agenda, argue that the other side should embrace it, reject any public concessions. Rinse and repeat.

But for several days now, Cantor keeps whining that the mean ol’ White House just isn’t being flexible enough. This is bizarre. For one thing, it’s not as if President Obama is running around threatening to veto any bill that falls short of his every demand. The West Wing is taking a firm negotiating posture, but no one seriously believes the president would reject a jobs bill that comes close to the one Obama has already sent to the Hill.

For another, has Cantor paid any attention at all to his own conduct and that of his caucus lately?

…Republicans have spent eight months in the majority introducing ideological fantasies — bills that don’t include any ideas that Democrats support — and trying to pass them off as compromises.

…Cantor still only accepts one definition of compromise: giving Republicans what they want.