I know the usual story of Joe McCarthy the 1950s senator and anti-communist crusader. Seems it was a little different than I realized. I had assumed it started at some reasonable, or at least legitimate, place and grew out of control. Maybe the witch-hunt analogy gave it a bit more legitimacy that it should have. A good one from the New Yorker.
McCarthy never sent a single “subversive” to jail, but, decades later, the spirit of his conspiracy-mongering endures.