Jeff Merkley (Dem Oregon) is the first U.S. Senator to endorse Bernie Sanders for President. In his supporting endorsement remarks, the NY T’s quotes him as saying, “”No decision we make as Americans more dramatically affects the direction of our country than our choice for president. He or she is more than the manager of the executive branch, commander in chief or appointer of judges. The president reflects, but also helps define, our national values, priorities, and direction.

Truth be told, a President Sanders would never be able to muster the bi-partisan support so as to impact these national values Merkley speaks of. The competing ideologies of members of Congress and the Senate would neutralize or dilute his capacity to get initiatives of his liking passed. The Senator applauds Sander’s opinions on foreign trade issues, the “rigged” economy as it relates between the middle-class and the “fortunate few”, and the expanding costs for education and housing.  Even if one accepted the proposition that such matters define the country’s priorities and direction, Sanders would never see these things passed into law. Merkley has to know this, and from our perspective, his support for Sanders is strong on symbolism and short on substance.

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