Re: David Brooks Nails it!
Brooks nails a critical question that is part of where the Republicans go from here, although the idea of mandatory national service is about as "big government" as you can get if you propose to draft everyone into helping out Big Brother at the start of their adult lives.
Of course public education was predicated on equal access to the same educational opportunities (not results) for all - that ship has sailed and is not coming back into port. I assume Atlanta is not the only area where those parents who are willing and able to purchase a quality education for their children have opted out of the "public" school system and enrolled their children in private schools from first grade. I doubt vouchers to break down the government schools monopoly will change that. Government giving everyone access to a car is not going to give everyone access to a Mercedes S class.
Maybe the GOP can take this up in 2012 - seems to me the GOP first may need a 1964 style landslide loss to decide what it wants to represent. The FDR New Deal coalition eventually came apart and the same is true for the Reagan Revolution.