What Would Bernie Bomb?


Bernie Sanders’ top foreign policy adviser has an unusual résumé for someone in that role. Matt Duss comes from the progressive blogosphere, not the foreign service.

He worked for Ralph Nader’s 2000 presidential campaign, and he joked after it was over that he and his colleagues will “get jobs in the Bush administration.” As The Nation’s David Klion wrote earlier this year, “No one besides Sanders has hired an adviser with such a clear track record of defying the Blob”—the mass of conventional thinkers in Washington’s foreign policy establishment.

But Duss sounded quite Blob-like earlier this month when I asked him what Sanders would do if he faced a humanitarian crisis such as imminent genocide.

Would a President Sanders consider using American military force without the support of Congress and the broader public? “If there’s a situation in which, as president, Senator Sanders feels that he needs to act,” said Duss, “and he’s spoken to the experts, and he’s engaged with as many people as he possibly could, and comes to that decision point, he’s going to do what he feels is right.”

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