Quis custodiet ipsos Congresso?

Freshman New York congresswoman and Democratic rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a pretty on-point Watchmen reference this morning:

“To Quote Alan Moore,” the congresswoman wrote, before quoting Rorschach: “‘None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with YOU. You’re locked up in here with ME.”

The tweet comes in response to a report by Politico that establishment Democrats have been rankled by Ocasio-Cortez’s pushing of a strong progressive agenda, as well as her openness in disagreeing with more senior members of the party. Based on the Rorschach quote she chose, it sounds like AOC has no intention of stopping what she’s doing.

It’s not every day that a member of Congress drops a comic book reference on social media, much less one as savage as this one, and comics Twitter took immediate note. Here’s just a sampling of replies from pros and fans:



Created by Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, Rorschach is a moral absolutist who refuses to compromise even in the face of death, and who ultimately pays the price for it. Time will tell if the same will be true for Ocasio-Cortez.


  1. And the best retweet I’ve come across —

    Robert A George
    ‏Verified account @RobGeorge
    4h4 hours ago

    Robert A George Retweeted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

    Sorry, I have to disagree with those who say that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is preparing to take over the Democratic Party. She did it 35 minutes ago.

    Robert A George added,
    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    Verified account @AOC
    To quote Alan Moore: “None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with YOU. You’re locked up in here with ME.” https://twitter.com/cristobaljalex/status/1083709582621454341
    37 replies 217 retweets 1,390 likes

  2. Alas, she’ll have to wait a few more years to run for president, because she’s only 29. (You can’t run for prez until you’re 35.)

  3. Rorschach hated polticians, liberals, gays and women and favourite reading material was a lunar right wing conspiracy magazine. Maybe she hasn’t really read it, or perhaps has no understanding of it?

  4. There is a difference between AOC saying “To quote Alan Moore” rather than saying “To quote Rorschach”, but I guess it depends on your interpretation when you look at the quote.

  5. I get reference, but totally wish U.S. politicians right now we’re a little less absolutist. Watchmen highlights the dangers of brinkmanship, absolutism, and authoritarianism.

  6. None of the dudes (strangely but predictably) flipping out about AOC possibly being a moral absolutist would ever give the same level of scrutiny/criticism to the man who liked Rorschach enough to purchase a t-shirt with him on it at Hot Topic.

  7. AOC is a member of Congress and therefore one of the most powerful people in the nation. A random person buying a t-shirt from Hot Topic is a random person and isn’t. So, sure?

  8. “Watchmen highlights the dangers of brinkmanship, absolutism, and authoritarianism.”

    Problems we’re dealing with right now, thanks to the clown in the Oval Office.

  9. “AOC is a member of Congress and therefore one of the most powerful people in the nation.”

    Freshman House members actually have very little power. They’re called “back benchers” for a reason. An active social media presence doesn’t make you powerful.

    The people with real power are Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Nancy Pelosi. That’s who you should be concerned about.

  10. The funny thing is that right wing media, especially Fox News, has raised her profile in trying to marginalize her more than her actual party has in supporting her. We may well have someone who may have been an inconsequential one-term member of Congress (like many Tea Party members voted in a few years back) turn into the face of the party because those who oppose her views can’t quit talking about her.

  11. Ted Cruz named Rorschach as one of his favorite comics characters. I’m not sure if he bought a shirt at Hot Topic, but I think he has a modicum of power.

    As for AOC, she’s left of most Democrats in the House but that’s more a reflection of how far to the right the dems have drifted since Reagan. It’s worth pointing out that a lot of her policies were pretty much the standard party line before 1980 (top marginal tax rate of 70%, some flavor of medicare expansion, crisis response framed as a New Deal). I realize that conservatives and centrist dems are against these things, which is (in theory) why we have elections, and it might be that her views are as marginal as the numbers suggest; again, people aren’t wrong to say her views don’t reflect the bulk of House dems, and even less so on the Senate side. But acting like her views are deviant is wrong, both from the perspective of history and from the perspective of Poli Sci 101.

  12. It’s not Rorschach being quoted that should be of concern. It’s when someone starts riffing on Ozymandias, that’s when you run for the hills!

  13. “A perfect description of the New Left!”

    And the Far Right that controls the White House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, Fox News, talk radio, Sinclair Broadcast Group, etc.

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