The problem is that eventually, you start to believe it, and I certainly know a few people who sincerely believe Trump goes around grabbing pussies, etc., as if they never heard of groupies, or parsed the actual words.
So, again, the NY Times and David Brooks...
We've got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.
There's the Sun Tzu saw about if you don't know your enemy... well, not being aware of an enemy's strengths or actual weaknesses is not knowing one's enemy. The problem with narcissistic/borderline "splitting" is that once someone is bad, they're all bad, and there's no "good" or respectable traits - thery're all seen as defending the indefensible.
The literally cannot imagine Trump is smart, because he doesn't talk like them, despite having gone through Wharton school of business at U Penn in a day and age that it was absolutely, provably, a challenge.