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make (one) the scapegoat (for something)

To wrongly attribute all of the blame for some negative situation or outcome to one particular person, whether or not they deserve some (or any) of the blame at all. Once it was discovered that I played a part in developing the company's scheme that robbed millions of people of their pensions, the mainstream media made me the scapegoat for the whole thing. Instead of trying to make someone the scapegoat for this problem, why don't you spend that energy trying to come up with a solution?
See also: make, scapegoat
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

make someone the scapegoat for something

to make someone take the blame for something. They made Tom the scapegoat for the whole affair. It wasn't all his fault. Don't try to make me the scapegoat. I'll tell who really did it.
See also: make, scapegoat
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
(6) James, The Day of Atonement, in THE SCAPEGOAT, supra note 1, at 33.
Scapegoats for a Profession both contributes to wider sociological debates about the nature and power of professions in contemporary society and is one of the very few contemporary discussions of discipline and the professions in Australia.
Michiel Heyns rereads a century of realist fiction through a new and intriguing critical lens, one heavily influenced by Rene Girard's The Scapegoat (Baltimore, MD, and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986).
The devil is the world's most notorious scapegoat, taking the blame for humankind's worst sins.
Emotion, rather than reason, urges her judgement against Mary Crawford: one which requires the expulsion of the scapegoat but leaves the community of values correspondingly straitened.
Do we find a scapegoat and use it as an excuse to skate through the remainder of fiscal '92?
He added that "By forcing through pay cuts and seeking to increase pension contributions on top of heavy job losses, the Government is making public servants the scapegoat for a financial crisis they played no part in causing."
For example, had another player not committed an error, walked or hit a batter, or given up a home run to extend an inning or the game, all results would have been different and those players marked as scapegoats would never have been immortalized.
But even if the society never becomes fascist, the period of turmoil can be dangerous, since it is almost inevitable that someone will conclude that the most efficient solution is to kill the scapegoats.
The history of societies which have focused their rage on scapegoats designated by religious leaders, only to be destroyed themselves, teaches this lesson.
The predominant scapegoats in the history of the United States have been black Americans.
TEACHING unions last night hit out at exam regulators for using them as "scapegoats" for the lower grades achieved in GCSE English this year.
In California, the state where I live, high, ranking political opportunists have targeted nonwhite immigrants as scapegoats for the state's grave economic problems.
He excuses the loutish behaviour of students by accusing Home Secretary Charles Clarke of making them "scapegoats" in his campaign against yob behaviour.
"Managers are always the scapegoats and I think Paul has lost his job on that basis."