'I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody." That was James Carville, President Clinton's chief political consultant, talking to this newspaper in February 1993.
When President Clinton backed away from HillaryCare and the rest of his big-government agenda, it wasn't just Democratic losses in the 1994 midterm elections that forced his hand. It was the power of the bond market, a point Mr. Carville understood but Republicans seem to have forgotten.
If today's Republicans are going to roll back President Obama's massive expansion of government, they will need the muscle of a bond market free from the Federal Reserve's manipulation. History suggests that only the prospect of higher and increasingly painful financing costs chastens committed big spenders. A liberated, and consequently less docile, bond market would not only restrain Washington's profligacy, it would also free the Republican Party to refocus on the big ideas and positive vision that made it a global force in the 1980s.