If I wanted to fix this "bug", then on the server-side we could replace all spaces within inline code with . However, I don't think I want to do that since it would go against the W3C's standard that inline code collapses whitespace.
Inline code is generated by using the HTML tag <code></code>. According to the HTML standard, the code tag does not preserve whitespace.
Code blocks are generated by wrapping the code tags with preformatted text tags, which are used to preserve formatting and whitespace. Therefore, code blocks are generated using the HTML tag <pre><code>...</code></pre>, as explicitely recommended by Google.
One of the most important features of the Markdown language is its cleanness and cut-and-dry separation of context and formatting. Therefore, using for formatting/design reasons actually goes directly against both the W3C's guidelines for HTML 5 and proper SEO guidelines.