There is, somewhere in your pleasant neighborhood, someone who holds noxious views. You see the person on the street, you wave, occasionally you say hello in the grocery store. They sure seem pleasant. You have no idea they're actually a Hitler loving Nazi sympathizer. And that's the point of the New York Times' profile of Tony Hovater.
There are actually seemingly decent, normal people in this country living very near you who are neither decent nor normal. Outward appearances give way to truly awful views -- beyond partisanship.
The American left, however, would prefer that these people not be profiled. The only Nazis who can be profiled are the ones with shaved heads, swastika tattoos, and criminal records. Let everyone think only these people are the bad people. But that's just not true and the New York Times has done a real service in showing that is not true.
It is unfortunate that the left reacted this way. In part, I'm sure, it is out of fear. They were pretty sure they had every neo-Nazi profiled correctly. Now they'll just jump to the conclusion that all white picket fences and well manicured lawns are signs of Nazi sympathy. The New York Times will no doubt go back to praising communists as Dan McLaughlin suggested.
This entire episode is another reminder that the secular left in America tends to have a more childlike view of evil than people of faith. The left needs the devil to have horns and tail to be seen as evil when evil is often more complicated.