AOC unsheathed the quote from a character created by the British anarchist author in response to a Politico piece about older-guard Democrats’ frustration with the outspoken new member of their House.
Ocasio-Cortez parried back: “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.’”
The masked vigilante Watchmen character Rorschach issued the same warning in the wildly revered series of graphic novels by Moore and Dave Gibbons, set in an alternative 1985 America. Rorschach tips off the ne’er-do-well crew crowding him in prison who prove to be no match for him.
Watchmen became a 2009 Zack Snyder film, and the family of superheroes will soon be featured on an HBO series by Damon Lindelof.
While some of Ocasio-Cortez’s colleagues may have been stumped by the pop culture reference, Twitter users went bonkers. (Bizarrely, Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz has named Rorschach as one of his favorite superheroes.)