House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) stepped up his criticism of the Bush administration's domestic agenda yesterday, continuing his squabble with White House budget director Richard G. Darman and taking a jab at taxes, "the old domestic order" and President Bush.

He called Darman a "technocrat" in the "Dukakis/McNamara" mold -- seeking to link Darman and the Bush administration, to the liberal wing of the Democratic party as personified by the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael S. Dukakis and Robert S. McNamara, who served as defense secretary to presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Gingrich called for Darman's resignation earlier this week after the budget director delivered a speech critcizing as empty rhetoric a school of conservative thought that promotes individual choice and seeks to empower the disenfranchised to make choices now often made by government. Gingrich believes many of these ideas -- such as tenant ownership of public housing, tax incentives for businesses locating in urban enterprise zones or parental rights to choose public schools -- should be a major part of the future social agenda.

Gingrich, who has spoken with Darman since calling for his resignation and plans to meet with him again in coming weeks, said his remarks yesterday weren't meant to be personal but were intended to convey his anger at what he termed Darman's "technocratic nihilism."

Speaking to the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of conservative state legislators, Gingrich also dispensed advice that he appears to have taken to heart: "When you get a chance to fight the bureaucracy, do it in public."

Afterward, Gingrich said the continuing debate within GOP circles about the future of the administration's domestic agenda "is in suspension" and he remains unsatisfied about the status quo.

"I have no reason to believe at the present time that it will succeed and I have no reason to believe that it will fail."

Supporters of the new policies include Vice President Quayle, new Republican National Committee Chairman William J. Bennett, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp and a host of Washington-based conservative strategists. White House domestic policy adviser James P. Pinkerton led the charge last spring with a speech calling for a "new paradigm," or model, of domestic policy.

But the ideas pushed by Kemp and Pinkerton, had languished for lack of administration or congressional support until Darman launched his attack last week. Last Wednesday Bush appeared to repudiate Darman, and some conservatives have rallied to support the ideas.

Gingrich called Darman's speech -- which referred to the order advocated by Gingrich as "new-neo-neism" and "new-Newt-ism" -- a "glib effort to avoid thought by ridicule."

"Ideological battles matter," Gingrich said. "If they didn't matter, we'd be talking about President Dukakis, who himself could have given large parts of {Darman's} speech, because he's a technocrat and he wanted us to believe ideology didn't matter."

Gingrich agreed that Darman's broadside helped the conservatives' cause. "It was very helpful for . . . Darman to have taken the time to point out that there is a serious intellectual debate about where America should go and where the Bush administration {should stand}," Gingrich said.

Darman declined to comment yesterday.