wanted Trump to declare martial law and suspend habeas corpus, and he also wanted Chief Justice John Roberts investigated for suspected involvement in the plot to steal the election.
On Inauguration Day, first on Twitter and then in a fulminating video posted on Facebook, Steinburg offered new provocation: “This election was stolen – no one – no one will ever convince me otherwise," he wrote on Twitter. "I, like many of you, probably 75 million or more of you, who do not believe that Joe Biden actually was elected” -- the very first words uttered in the video.
He's a nasty piece of work, this senator, staking his reputation (and his sacred honor) on the big lie. But here's the question: Does he actually believe the lie that Trump was defrauded out of a second term, or is he merely posturing to gild his popularity with the Trumpists? That is to say, is he ass or idiot? And which would be preferable in a duly elected public official, especially a state senator?
Steinburg's Inauguration Day project was shocking enough that WRAL reporter Travis Fain reached out to other Republican senators, including Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, to see if they would defend Steinburg. Most ducked the question.
WRAL News reached out via email Thursday morning to all 27 other Republicans in the state Senate, seeking to determine how widespread these beliefs may be. None responded, beyond a statement from Senate President Phil Berger's office: ... "We are not in the business of policing the speech of other members, who are responsible only to the voters who elected them."
Berger's spokesman then went on to write out the indisputable facts that Trump had appropriately exhausted all his legal options and that no evidence of fraud had been proven in any qualified court (including ones presided over by Trump appointees) and that therefore Joe Biden was and is the duly elected president.
All of that quiet put-down of Steinburg communicated via email. Fain wasn't satisfied. He placed personal phone calls to some seven Republican senators. Only one of them would talk to him about Steinburg -- Sen. Warren Daniel of Burke Co., who said, "I’m a lawyer, and I’d like to see evidence before I take a position on an issue.” Meaning, precisely, that anyone who believed as Sen. Steinburg believes might just be an idiot. "We need to move on."
There's the split in the NC Republican Party, such as it is, the clown-show of Trumpist cheerleaders on the one hand (and don't forget Madison Cawthorn in the NC-11), overwhelming the weak signal from sane and traditional Republicans rapidly falling out of love with Trump. There'll be no Trumpist purge in the NCGOP, mainly because Trump won the state (so no need for reprisals), though we've witnessed a minor wave of volunteer defections. In the week following January 6, some 2,879 Republicans re-registered as Not Republican (many if not most, Unaffiliated) in North Carolina. Steinburg (and Cawthorn) don't stem that tide.