In the glare of the horrendous summer heat bedeviling Austin these days, a visitor to the state capitol might be disinclined to glance up and notice the scaffolding that encloses portions of the 134-year-old building from bottom to top. The intricate web of steel will be spoiling photos of the majestic structure for some time to come, while workers replace its 75-year-old roof. In preparation, they’ve removed mounds of trash that have collected atop the building over the years — trash and pigeon droppings, nearly 200 pounds of the stuff.
Inside the building, lawmakers gathered in the Senate chamber this week are attempting to do something similar. Members of the Texas Republican establishment — as opposed to the noisier, angrier Donald Trump-inspired MAGA base — are involved in restoration work. Although it’s still surprising that they have taken on the task, a task as necessary as replacing a roof, it could be they’re acting responsibly, even nobly.