OPINIONSrnDead Weightrnby Paul Gottfriedrn”A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy.”rn—Benjamin DisraelirnDead Rightrnby David FrumrnNew York: Basic Books;rn220 pp., $25.00rnIt may speak volumes about Americanrnconservatives that David Frum’s critiquernof “big government conservatism”rnpermitted William Buckley—or so Buckleyrnclaims on the dust jacket—to enjoyrn”the most refreshing ideological experiencernin a generation.” To a conservativernmovement led by advocates of nationalrnuplift allied with the federal bureaucracy,rnFrum’s book may offer bracingrnPaul Gottfried is a professor of humanitiesrnat Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvaniarnand author of The ConservativernMovement, revised edition.rnmedicine. Indeed he makes statements,rnas Jack Beatty has pointed out in thernWashington Post, that would otherwisernbe absent from the public discourse, inrnwhich paleoconservativcs of course arerngiven no standing. Frum makes no secretrnof the fact that Jack Kemp, WilliamrnBennett, and the Heritage Foundationrnfavor a well-funded managerial state,rncentered in Washington, D.C., and thatrnit is more than the acceptance of the inevitablernthat makes big government conservativesrnwhat they are: some prosperrnfrom, and most believe in, the growth ofrnwhat they now criticize ever more temperately.rnApropos Bill Bennett’s sermonicrnintonations, Frum notes the inescapablernirony that “conservatives whornhave worked so hard to destroy the public’srnfaith in government could now talkrnabout government exhorting people tornvirtue.”rnUnlike the neoconservatives of thern1980’s, who praised any federal agencyrnthey happened to occupy, Frum treatsrnthe modern administrative state as anrnunmitigated evil. Its expansion, he tellsrnus, has been encouraged by both majorrnparties and by the Reagan Revolution,rndespite its overblown rhetoric about defundingrnfederal agencies. Frum treatsrnthe religious right indulgently, believingrn(correctly) that the media have demonizedrnit. But he also stresses the rolernthat reckless enthusiasts of culturalrnwarfare against the left have played inrnexpanding Leviathan. Though unfairrnwhen speculating on the motives of PatrnBuchanan, Frum is on target when herntreats current talk about “Judeo-Christianrnvalues” as often a smoke screen forrnbig government conservatives. It is, afterrnall, easier to criticize the government forrnits failure to promote values than torn30/CHRONICLESrnrnrn