Reid laid out the case he's been making for weeks: The level of obstruction by Republicans is absolutely unprecedented, that Republicans are blocking nominees not because of problems with the nominees, but because they don't like the agencies they would lead and that the popularly elected president deserves the basic courtesy of being able to assemble his team.
Mitch McConnell made his case, saying "We have an opportunity to pull back from the brink in this joint meeting that we're going to have of all senators in the old Senate chamber Monday night. I hope we'll come to our senses and not change the core of the Senate." And then he followed up this "let's all be reasonable" routine by telling David Gregory he's not going to rule out blocking whoever President Obama ends up nominating to replace Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security.
We'll have to take a look at whoever the new secretary of homeland security is. I can't guarantee you there won't be a spirited debate. Look, we've got over 300 million people in this country. We don't all agree on everything, and they elect all of us to come to Washington, and we have some big disagreements and big debates. But sooner or later, when it comes to nominations, as I've indicated, the president hasn't lost anybody. He hasn't lost anybody.When McConnell says "debate" he means filibuster. He means delay. He means forcing the nominee to spend months answering 1,100 questions. McConnell has no interest in preserving the Senate. McConnell wants to continue to use procedure to keep government from functioning. And he admitted that on national TV on Sunday.
Are they saying they don't want us to even debate these nominations?
If there are still any wobbly Democrats who are thinking they might not vote with Reid Tuesday morning, that should be enough to convince them.