(also ‘man of straw‘; plural: ‘straw men’ and ‘men of straw’; for the right pronunciation of this phrase, please click here)
a person (or an idea or argument) that is weak and easy to win;
a person of no value or importance;
a person who is not what he pretends to be; an imposter;
an unimportant person used as a cover for some illegal activity;
a person who appears to be powerful or important in position but in fact without any power,
When James stood up to present his argument before the committee, everybody thought he was being a straw man; however, as the meeting progressed, he proved that he was no straw man nor was his argument.
It’s understood that men in high positions keep some men of straw on their pay rolls so that whenever there is a problem, they can bring those men of straw to the front and they themselves keep clear of it.
We often see some men of straw who appear to be very powerful and important but when it comes to getting things done in their own domain, they fail miserably and blame somebody else for their inefficiency and meekness.