This piece from the Atlantic captures my feeling pretty close to exactly, re: the recent Rand Paul flap on the Civil Rights Act and his alleged “courage”. In particular, the conclusion:
Now, after the police dogs, night-sticks and fire-hoses have been beaten back, Rand Paul wants to reopen the question, while, to be sure, claiming that he would have had the “courage to march with Martin Luther King.” This is a common strain of courage. It chiefly shines through in men born 50 years too late. Presently among the crowd, they are distinguished at that decisive moment when queried about wars they won’t have to fight, in times they will never live. These men populate our history books. They are all on the wrong side.