A coup attempt and an undivided government

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Good morning.

A coup attempt, incited by a defeated president.  That’s a plot line for a Tom Clancy novel, not something that would happen in the citadel of democracy. But yesterday, it did. It was the most significant attack on the U.S. Capitol since the British invaded in 1814.

That disturbing spectacle swamped the other big story of the day: the election of two Democratic senators in the heart of the once-solid South, handing control of Congress to the new president’s party. Many political analysts in Georgia credited this one to President Trump as well. As always, the departing President is keeping himself at the center of attention.

For business, it’s the second story that significantly changes the outlook for the next four years. Many business leaders were hoping for a different result—a divided government whose center of gravity would rest with centrists like Romney, Collins, Manchin and Warner. With clearer control in Democratic hands, the President will be under greater pressure to cater to his progressive caucus—likely creating bigger headaches for business.

Most disturbing is the fact that a significant portion of the American public—including a number of CEO Daily readers—sincerely believes the November election was fraudulent, despite 50 states and some 60 courts that have said otherwise. According to YouGov, 45% of Republican voters approve of the storming of the Capitol building, based on what they read or heard about the event. Hard to see how democracy survives when the most basic facts of public life are up for grabs, and immune to resolution.

You can read Fortune’s coverage of the insurrection in Washington here and here and of the Georgia Senate race here and here.

More news below.

Alan Murray

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