Paul Ryan still can't stand up to Trump, even in retirement.

On Monday, former House Speaker Paul Ryan said that if the 2020 election "is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn't going to win it."

By Wednesday morning, he had officially walked back his ever-so-slight criticism of Trump — exhibiting the same brand of cowardice that marked his tenure in office.

"GOP wins elections when they're about ideas not when they're personality contests like Dems & media want. We're clearly better off because of @RealDonaldTrump," Ryan wrote. "His record of accomplishment is why he'll win re-election especially when compared to Dems' leftward lurch."

Ryan was forced to backpedal after reports of him criticizing Trump at a Florida lecture Monday circulated widely.

Even though he is out of office and no longer needs to fear a political backlash within Republican circles, Ryan just couldn't stand by what he said. Even over a mild comment that didn't go into detail about Trump's never-ending flaws.

It is the Paul Ryan way.

Along with ramming a tax scam through Congress that benefitted the ultra-wealthy and Republican donors at the expense of ordinary Americans, acquiescence to Trump was the hallmark of Ryan's time as speaker.

Ryan calculated that turning a blind eye to Trump's racism, sexism, bigotry and overall incompetence was worth it to get his signature on right-wing policy.

Ryan was perfectly fine to allow moral rot to grow from the presidency, abdicating his constitutional role of oversight and abandoning his moral responsibility to confront Trump's grotesque un-American behavior.

Ryan notably presided over a Republican majority that ignored multiple Trump scandals and misdeeds, including the violation of state and federal law along with corruption that hardly has any historic parallels.

His inability to lead helped make the case for a Democratic takeover of Congress, and as a result, there is now a backlog of Trump malfeasance to be investigated.

His successor, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, has taken up the mantle of leading Trump stooge. Like Ryan, McCarthy has taken to covering his eyes as Trump's criminal and moral failings are revealed.

Paul Ryan debased the office of speaker with his refusal to deal with Trump. Now, after he's retired, he continues to bend the knee to his old boss, appearing even more pathetic than he used to, amazingly enough.

Published with permission of The American Independent.