a lightning rod

a lightning rod

  (American)
someone or something that takes all the blame for a situation, although other people or things are responsible too (often + for ) In a harsh economic climate, raises for teachers have become a lightning rod for criticism.
See also: lightning, rod
References in classic literature ?
A lightning rod is ascended without difficulty, especially by a sailor; but, when he had arrived as high as the window, which lay far to his left, his career was stopped; the most that he could accomplish was to reach over so as to obtain a glimpse of the interior of the room.
The history of lightning protection goes back to the lightning conductor, known as a lightning rod in the United States, which was invented by one of America's Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin in 1749.
In reality, a lightning rod raises the ground from grade up to the tips of the points, or air terminals.
It has long had a lightning rod, which was last updated in 2005.
amateurish frequency of underscoring ("but that was exactly what a lightning rod was supposed to do"--one of nine examples on a single page); and those word repetitions that were the bane of Flaubert ("the funny thing was that he just thought it was funny to begin with").
How reasonably are we to consider the narrator's arguments about the benefits of a lightning rod system?
Also outdated is the notion that a lightning rod alone on the house will do the trick.
Kiffin was USC's offensive coordinator the past two seasons and became a lightning rod for criticism as the replacement for popular assistant Norm Chow.
3) which can be used to calculate the radius of protection for an object of a given height h under a lightning rod or mast of height H.
The Ten Commandments have become a lightning rod in U.
As the cable car facility was not damaged by the lightning, the operator suspects it hit a lightning rod, causing converter-related trouble.
The discount is offered for homeowners who install a system that includes a lightning rod, surge arresters for the electrical entrance and surge suppressors for the resident's electronic devices.
Fraud has become a lightning rod for trouble in recent years, but it now appears that certain companies (Enron, for instance) had a culture that let it blossom.
The magazine's editors say the yield factor, and its part in the early admissions debate, had become a lightning rod for criticism.
If he stays, he will continue to be a lightning rod for high-voltage charges aimed to create racial polarization and reinforce negative stereotypes of conservatives and the South.