So Eli has a modest proposal, which, as all of Eli's simple and modest proposals, will be ignored. OTOH, what are blogs for. Give the minority leader a small number of cards to play, say four or five per year. When the minority leader decides it is important enough, why yes, that appointment does not come to a vote if there are forty supporters or more. Since such things are more often tactical than strategic, if say within a month the situation is resolved, the card is returned
ADDITIONAL THUMB SUCKING: Curious bunnies inquire why a few Republican Senators on the business side of the party did not break away, eliminating the log jam, as happened in 2005 with the business side of the Democratic Party joining with Republicans to make filibusters much harder to do for the Dems. The answer is simple. The business wing Senators WANTED Reid and the Democrats to eliminate the filibuster. The radicals on the right WANT government to fail (what that means perhaps tonight). The left wing of the Democratic Party (which actually is not so radical) and even the far out left do not. That means that any Republican business wing Senators who break filibusters would be attacked and primaried from the right. Eliminating that issue eliminates or limits the treat. Every damn judge or third level bureaucrat approved does not become a club to be used against them.
Reid and the Dems did the business wing of the Republican Party a favor.