Maybe he's right. But maybe in a 24-hour media environment, the spectacle of watching a GOP minority talking a popular piece of legislation to death would generate a public backlash.
The first step to reining back in the filibuster might just be public education: Make people understand that it has gotten out of hand and is being abused. "If this pattern continues," the president told PBS, "you're going to see an inability on the part of America to deal with big problems in a very competitive world. ... We're going to have to return to some sense that governance is more important than politics inside the Senate."
He could repeat that message, beginning with the State of the Union address. It may not be enough, but it's a start.