Frum’s message to the GOP is: Give up on small government and gird for endless war. Neocons once boasted that they were “liberals mugged by reality,” but somewhere along the line they learned how to fight back.

Frum isn’t wrong about everything. It’s probably true, as he says, that Sarah Palin’s “willful divisiveness” alienated independents by setting up a split between “real Americans and not so real Americans.” But it’s a little ripe to hear that from a man who famously labeled the great Robert Novak an “unpatriotic conservative” for opposing the Iraq war.

And when Frum’s wrong, he’s really wrong. “Reagan Republicanism offers solutions to the problems of 40 years before, not to those of the 21st century,” he writes in “Comeback.”

Funny enough, though, the problems of 2010 — rooted in an overweening government that recognizes no limits on its capabilities — look a lot like the problems of the late ’70s.