The list of failed pundits is impressive: both Five Thirty Eight's Nate Silver and Harry Enten, CNN's Stuart Stevens, Bloomberg's Jon Bernstein, NY Times Nate Cohn, and conservative columnists Ross Douthat and of course, Bloody Bill Kristol, were all wrong again.
What Gass doesn't talk about is why these pundits were wrong, and that's the real story.
You see, what all these super-smart white guys missed, or more likely refused to see, is the seething racism that has driven the GOP in the Age of Obama. What Trump offered was, simply, vengeance against those people who elected Obama in 2008.
Deport the Muslims, deport the Mexicans, get the jobs back, stick it to China, build the wall, all this was done to make white guys feel like they should be back on top again, where they belong. It's not "nationalism", Trump absolutely wants America to be the top dog again in the military world, and has time and again talked about using force all the way up to nuclear weapons to deal with ISIS. Likewise, it's not "populism" either as he all but ignored the hot button Republican social wedge issues like gay marriage, abortion, and transphobia.
No, where the pundits missed everything was refusing to acknowledge Trump's combination white supremacy/prosperity gospel ticket, where Trump was literally The Rich White Guy Who Can Solve Our Problems and they all ignored the racism dripping from Trump's words from day one. Those of us who immediately pegged Trump's real slogan as "Make America White Again" knew exactly what was going on, but the pundit corps had to tie themselves in knots trying to justify Trump's appeal without calling him a racist.
You take the racism out of Trump's pitch, he's just the Caddyshack version of Mitt Romney. And Mitt Romney is a loser. That's why they all predicted his demise, because who wants to admit that tens of millions of Americans are racist assholes in 2016 who are super cool with "Hey let's deport people for being Hispanic or Muslim"?
So they invented reasons on paper why Trump was winning, the plaintive bleating about "working class America" which was all nonsense, for example. It had to be something other than race, otherwise you'd basically be accusing the Republican party of being a bunch of racists.
Hey guess what, America? The Republican party is a bunch of racists, and Donald Trump neatly proves that theory.
So let's stop pretending otherwise. Let's stop pretending that openly using the Southern Strategy in 2016 was somehow not the difference in giving Trump the nomination and dispatching his opponents, because Trump had the balls to actually say what the racist base of the GOP wanted him to say: that black folks and Muslims and Hispanic folks and LGBTQ folks and all of those people needed to be put in our respective places, with rich straight white guys on top of the food chain again, unopposed.
Trump was inevitable, as Dave von Ebers said on Wednesday:
The GOP was always going to disgorge someone out like Trump to vote for. And here he is, a couple of months out from being the President. This is where the GOP nominee is here in 2016.
Police are trying to determine whether a notorious white supremacist left threatening leaflets on vehicles in a Sacramento neighborhood.
The leaflets warned against “white genocide” — a white nationalist slogan — and threatened targeted violence against Muslims and Hispanics, reported the Sacramento Bee.
The fliers urged “white resistance groups and lone wolves” to activate the “hundred little death camp policy” and begin slaughtering Muslims and Latinos in the U.S., Europe and Russia.
“If you have not secured a body dump-site, do so now!” the leaflets warn. “Kidnap, rob, torture for information and execute all Muslims and Latinos. Leave no survivors.”
This is what the pundits didn't want to see when they "missed" Trump's rise. Remember that.