Conservatives, desperate for some angle from which to attack Elena Kagan, have found a particularly distasteful one, complaining that she's a longtime New Yorker in a court that already has a couple, and hence can't understand the experiences of Americans in the “heartland.” It's an irritating meme, “channeling the recent conservative tendency to divide the country into 'real American' areas, and, well,” those that vote Democrat, writes Ed Kilgore on FiveThirtyEight.com.
There have historically been a lot of New Yorkers on the court, which makes sense, since the Big Apple is the legal capital of the country, he contends. More importantly, New York isn't such a pure bastion of liberalism—it's had a Republican governor for 26 of the last 50 years. And yeah, maybe a cosmopolitan New Yorker can't understand life in small-town America. “But neither can the 80% of Americans who live in metropolitan areas.”