Gov. Gary Herbert was faced with a choice between a workable status quo and a radical departure from long-established practice and law and, like the good conservative he wants us to think he is, he wisely chose not to fix something that wasn't broken.
Late Friday, only hours after the bill officially landed on his desk, Herbert vetoed HB363. That's the recent act of the Utah Legislature that would have eviscerated the state's moderate, abstinence-first sex education curriculum and replaced it with a particularly prudish abstinence-only plan that nobody, other than a few members of the Legislature and some radical-right pressure groups, thought necessary.
First, politics. Herbert is facing re-election and some of the more reactionary elements in his own Republican Party are not only those that backed HB363, but also have generally been those that work the hardest to dominate the state's precinct caucuses and state convention. Offend that core of true believers and, like U.S. Sen. Robert Bennett two years ago, Herbert could find himself deprived of his own party's line on the November ballot.