It's quite the fashion nowadays to ascribe all manner of bad behavior to some kind of mental illness or other. In that spirit I propose that Cowardly Lion Syndrome (CLS) needs to be added to the lexicon.
CLS derives its name from the scene in the classic movie The Wizard of Oz where we are introduced to the Cowardly Lion. Not having the courage to stand up to Dorothy, Scarecrow and the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion decides to prove his manliness (his Lionliness?) by chasing after Dorothy's little dog Toto instead.
CLS is rampant, particularly in American politics. The most recent example is Congress, not having the courage to stand up to the Bush Administration or the Telcos, decide to chase after Roger Clemens instead. Before that it was Rush Limbaugh and Terri Schiavo and gay people and cancer patients.
Unfortunately, there is not yet a drug approved by the FDA to treat Cowardly Lion Syndrome. I wonder if Congress could work up the courage to fund a study.