When I was young, my two old-maid aunts who resided with us nicknamed me the “Yeah, but,” Kid. Whenever my Irish mother would scold me for some peccadillo, I always had an excuse, and yet I never got a chance to tell it. My mother never gave me the opportunity to explain my transgression (or at least what she deemed a “transgression” at the time). I suppose it was good training for adulthood, as we all live in a bit of a “yeah, but” world. Let’s consider, for example, your next airline flight: “Why did you pack that in your carry-on? Don’t you know that it is forbidden to…?” Yeah, but…!”

Anyone who watched the State of the Union Address by President Obama on January 27th witnessed a bit of “yeah, but-ting” by at least a majority of the Supreme Court justices present. Obama called them to task for their pro-special interests decision in the recent case of Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, which had barred use by some conservatives of Hillary: The Movie, which was intended to have Hillary Clinton’s campaign supporters yeahbutting. There sat Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito shaking his head and presumably mouthing some version of “yeah, but….” Those who appear before the U.S. Supreme Court—or any court for that matter—often find themselves trying to explain the “yeah, but” when pinned down by a tough inquisitor on the bench or by a prosecutor. The theory may be that we are “innocent until proven guilty,” but reality is that everybody is vulnerable.

I have touched on factors such as the Supreme Court and lobbyists several times over the months and years (see Getting Murdered on K Street, which appeared in the March 2008 issue, or Fraud and Justice in the September 2009 issue). Any adjuster who has an interest in law, history, or political science may have noticed, either agreeing or taking issue with this columnist. Shifting cultural changes are often reflected in court decisions. Few of us in the insurance vocation would probably brag that we are part of a “special interest group,” but the reality is that we all support our lobbyists through the organizations to which we belong, from religious institutions to AARP to AAA or the NRA. We have that right under the First Amendment to the Constitution, to “peaceably … assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free
PropertyCasualty360 Digital Reader.


  • All PropertyCasualty360.com news coverage, best practices, and in-depth analysis.
  • Educational webcasts, resources from industry leaders, and informative newsletters.
  • Other award-winning websites including BenefitsPRO.com and ThinkAdvisor.com.

Already have an account?



Join PropertyCasualty360

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed decisions for your P&C insurance business. Join PropertyCasualty360.com now!

  • Unlimited access to PropertyCasualty360.com - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including BenefitsPRO.com, ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
  • Exclusive discounts on PropertyCasualty360, National Underwriter, Claims and ALM events

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join PropertyCasualty360

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.