Yes, it is now racist to talk about President Obama and the umbrella. In fact, let’s just add “umbrella” to the Big Book of Racial Code Words. It was bad enough when rank-and-file right wingers (like Howard Kurtz) noted the unbelievably bad optics of President Obama summoning a pair of Marines to hold umbrellas over him and the Turkish prime minister. “They’re gonna look good next to us,” he improvised.

We know that conservatives don’t understand metaphor, but even Sarah Palin couldn’t overlook the timing of the president calling in the Marines for shelter following a week of scandals, including testimony from Benghazi whistleblowers who testified to being abandoned while under attack. Wrote Palin, “glad you finally called in the Marines … shame it was just to hold your umbrella.” Did Palin know her criticism was necessarily driven by racism? Because there’s no other explanation.

MSNBC hasn’t been very quick about getting to the bottom of those other pseudo-scandals but managed to put up a photo montage of white Republican presidents beneath umbrellas held by others. The Huffington Post also managed to dig up a photo of — wait for it — Palin herself being escorted underneath an umbrella. And the Washington Post is on it. Now that’s investigative journalism.