He was noted for making unsubstantiated claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers inside the federal government. He formed the House Un-American Activities Committee, and began accusing federal employees of communist actions. Senator Joseph McCarthy claimed to know that Communists had infiltrated the United States government at the highest levels.
Private citizens were next, including writers and people who worked in the movie industry. Anti-communist hearings were held, and although nothing was proved, many people were "blacklisted" and their careers were ruined.
In 1954, McCarthy took things too far when he accused the U.S. Army of illegal actions. The televised Army/McCarthy Hearings were a farce, McCarthy's credibility was destroyed, and the anti-communist "witch hunts" came to an end. In January 1954, in what were to be the first televised hearings in American history, McCarthy obliquely attacked President Eisenhower and directly assaulted Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens. Day after day the public watched McCarthy in action -- bullying, harassing, never producing any hard evidence, and his support among people who thought he was "right" on communism began to evaporate.
Americans regained their senses, and the Red Scare finally began to wane. By the end of the year, the Senate decided that its own honor could no longer put up with McCarthy's abuse of his legislative powers, and it censured him in December by a vote of 65 to 22.
The term "McCarthyism," coined in 1950 in reference to McCarthy's practices, was soon applied to similar anti-communist pursuits. Today the term is used more generally to describe demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents.
He runied a lot of lives trying to advance his own political career.
McCarthy was never able to substantiate his sensational charges.
Others Republican have come along to take his place with personal attacks and saying they are straight arrow people who are protecting the public, all to further their own political careers.
Many of the Republican criminals are leading public advocates AGAINST the very crimes they commit-- prior to being caught. They loudly and often proclaim themselves not only to be qualified to lead and govern us, but are morally superior to many of us, as well. Are they? So why do so many Republicans seem to do the exact opposite of what they preach to others?
Republican Mayor Jim West championed an anti-gay agenda, but was later found to be gay himself. Anything to win.
Republican Congressman Henry Hyde denounced President Clinton's extramarital affair, but was later found to be an adulterer himself
September 28, 2005: U.S. Congressman and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) indicted "on a conspiracy charge stemming from a long-running campaign finance investigation". He believed in anything to win.
March 23, 2007: Former Deputy Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles, an oil and gas lobbyist who became an architect of George W. Bush's energy policies, pleads guilty to obstructing justice by lying to a Senate committee.
March 8, 2007: Former U.S. Congressman and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich admits to extramarital affair after relentless attacks against President Clinton. Do as I say, not as I do.
March 6, 2007: I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney (R-Dante's Inferno) found guilty of obstruction of justice and perjury
April 19, 2006: Former North Carolina Republican Party Chair, Sam Currin, indicted on seven felony charges, including tax conspiracy, witness tampering and perjury.
October 13, 2006: Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) pleads guilty to taking bribes in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling scandal. On January 3, 2006 Republican mega-fundraiser Jack Abramoff had plead guilty to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials.
September29, 2006: Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) resigns from the U.S. Congress following reports he sent sexually inappropriate e-mails to underage male congressional interns. Yet he lead a lot of legislation on protecting children.
December16, 2005: James Tobin, regional political director to the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2002 election, convicted of "two telephone harassment charges for his role in a phone-jamming plot against New Hampshire Democrats on Election Day 2002"
In 2007 we have the same thing, the Republican administration claims that anyone who questions their policies is un-American.