(For those who wish to be saved a search: "bikeshedding" describes our tendency to devote a disproportionate amount of our time to menial and trivial matters while leaving important matters unattended, named for software developer Poul-Henning Kamp's 1999 story "Why should I care what color the bike-shed is?" in which painting the bike-shed is bickered about and the bike-shed never gets built.)
I still think that it's a case of "We're powerless to solve the main problem, and so focus on the side problem because it's all we can do."
We're getting sidetracked, but this bikeshedding is really more a matter of importance than power. Wiktionary summarizes it well:
a committee whose job is to approve plans for a nuclear power plant may spend the majority of its time on relatively unimportant but easy-to-grasp issues, such as what materials to use for the staff bikeshed, while neglecting the design of the power plant itself, which is far more important but also far more difficult to criticize constructively.
Which of the two is the case with the Shadow Men here could be argued either way I guess.