Yes, hot water (near boiling, be careful!) will soften the bushing for about 30 sec after it is removed.
I've never been able to get one in lying on the floor with the car up on jack stands, I've always ended up taking the lever off the tranny and using a socket and a vise. A small amount of grease on the bushing helps too.
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!