It was the deep state that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State—and Trump’s impetuousness, love of dictators, and abrupt troop withdrawal that almost destroyed the secret operation. Trump’s spin, bragging about an operation that he damn near upended, immediately collapsed.

What is the deep state? It is career public officials, civilian and military, who have a sense of integrity and patriotism; people who have risked their careers to testify in the impeachment investigation against the wishes of the White House.

Trump and Bannon are exactly right about the deep state. It stands between Donald Trump and outright dictatorship.

And if we manage to have a relatively free and fair election next November, we can also thank the state and local officials of the deep state, otherwise known as the American constitutional system and the rule of law.