As soon as it became apparent that right wing firebrand Chris McDaniel probably would have defeated incumbent Senator Thad Cochran but for the intervention of black Democrats in Mississippi, a faction of the right weighed in exactly as you'd expect.
Rush Limbaugh spoke for a lot of conservatives Wednesday when he mocked the "Uncle Toms for Thad" campaign.
But even in the right's more polite precincts, Cochran's late appeal to black Democrats is considered a grave sin. Specifically, conservatives are upset Cochran turned out black voters by informing them that McDaniel is, at best, a racially insensitive reactionary. John Fund registered his disapproval by posting a flier, which Cochran supporters supposedly distributed in black neighborhoods. It highlights racist comments McDaniel made on his radio show, along with his opposition to a Civil Rights museum, federal funding of public schools, and SNAP benefits.
I say supposedly because I haven't confirmed the authenticity of the flier, and Fund provided no authenticating details. But that's completely beside the point. The point is that a substantial number of Republicans are far more concerned with and offended by the idea of one Republican attacking another Republican for being a dog-whistling racist than with the actual dog whistling and racism that forms the basis of the attack.
Which isn't surprising at all. Conservatives are incredibly consistent about this ordinal ranking. But it's why their claims to racial innocence and objections to allegations of racial insensitivity ring so hollow.
Brian Beutler is a senior editor at The New Republic.