Why conservatives should defend the filibuster

Conservatives have benefited from the filibuster in the past — using it to stop measures such as the pro-union “card check” and so-called “paycheck fairness,” and to preserve the Bush tax relief when the Democrats tried to rescind it — and we will likely benefit again if we at some point find ourselves in the minority. Yet that’s not the primary reason to defend the filibuster.

The Founders believed that our passions are not necessarily reliable guides. They believed in the primacy of reason and deliberation. To the extent that we jettison greater deliberation, like that which the filibuster forces upon the Senate, we are walking away from the Founders and embracing a fundamentally unconservative view of the world.

The filibuster makes us slow down and think carefully before we act. Each party at different points has found it frustrating, and it has no doubt been misused along the way. But the filibuster deserves to be maintained in order to safeguard the democratic republic.