At this point, as the filibuster appears set to kill or gut the public option and perhaps sink cap-and-trade altogether, it seems more productive to map out how exactly one would go about changing it than to simply complain. The obvious antecedent for such a change is the 1975 effort to reduce the cloture vote requirement from two-thirds to three-fifths of those present. Thankfully, I just stumbled upon this great TIME article from the period describing the legislative maneuvering involved. As far as I can tell, there are two main lessons here:
In any case, read the whole thing. Basically, what this means is that if Joe Biden and 51 Democrats wanted to, we could end the filibuster today. Or reduce the cloture requirement to 55. What needs to happen is a coalition pushing for total abolition, which can then claim 55 as a reasonable compromise for which 51 votes can be mustered. If we can get some gang of maximalists-maybe including noted hold opponent Ron Wyden and Europhile Bernie Sanders, among others-to start making 55 seem like a sensible middle ground, then the last vote needed on health care could be someone like non-filibusterer Mark Pryor, not Olympia Snowe or Blanche Lincoln.