That people in the US are sending pipe bombs to critics or opponents of Donald Trump and media outlets is another of those moments we've seen so many of in the US since 2015: astonishing and yet unsurprising, a new low and yet simply another waypoint on a downward slope that shows no signs of bottoming out. Trump denounced the terrorism, but we know that next week, tomorrow, tonight, he'll be back to attacking the media as traitors, lauding people who assault journalists, beaming as rally crowds chant "lock her up", smearing and vilifying opponents and critics.

Each new outrage achieves the goal of those who perpetrate it, of expanding the window not of what is legitimate or appropriate in the conduct of politics, but of what is conceivable. Each time, the boundaries are reset, further and further toward government-endorsed violence, harassment and abuse. Fascism doesn't happen quickly. You don't wake to find yourself in a fascist state; you move there, bit by bit, as what surprises and outrages us as a society shifts to the point where it's no longer surprising that critics of a leader might be targeted by terrorism, that media companies and journalists should be threatened and attacked, that the modern equivalent of brownshirt gangs attack anti-Trump protesters.