RYAN’S RADICAL ROADMAP FINDS SOME GOP BACKING…. Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) wants Republican lawmakers and candidates to show some courage and endorse Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) “Roadmap for America’s Future.” So does Jonah Goldberg.

For his part, Ryan, the far-right lawmaker who’ll head the House Budget Committee if Republicans take the House, knows he’s offered a fairly radical budget plan, and recently conceded his colleagues who agree with him are too nervous to say so: “They’re talking to their pollsters and their pollsters are saying, ‘Stay away from this.’”

Amanda Terkel reports today, however, that some aren’t staying away from this.

— Martha Roby, AL-2: On June 4, Roby put out a statement criticizing Democrats for refusing to move forward with a budget proposal. “The American people deserve better. They deserve solutions,” said Roby. “Conservative leaders like Rep. Paul Ryan are offering real solutions to cut wasteful spending, such as canceling unspent TARP and stimulus funds, cutting non-defense spending back to 2008 levels, and reducing the government workforce. I endorse these solutions and other common sense approaches to start getting our fiscal house back in order.” Roby is one of the National Republican Campaign Committee’s “Young Guns,” the party’s top new prospects.

— Francisco Canseco, TX-23: In a video posted on July 13, Canesco told a questioner that he supports Ryan’s alternative budget proposal. Canseco is also one of the NRCC’s Young Guns.

— Andy Barr, KY-6: In a July 15 radio appearance on WVLK-AM 590, a caller asked Barr whether “we can count on you to support the Republican budget.” Barr responded, “Yeah. I mean, absolutely. I’m not in Congress now, of course, and I don’t have an opportunity to support a particular budget, but that’s certainly preferable — that budget, a leaner budget — is certainly preferable to the ones that have been offered by the President and the Speaker of the House.”

— Dan Lungren, CA-3:Lungren is already in Congress, but he hasn’t yet co-sponsored Ryan’s plan. On Aug. 11, Lungren told Ryan that the roadmap was “the best long-term look at trying to deal with our fiscal insanity right now that anybody has done.” He refused to say, however, whether he would officially sign on to the bill before the election.

This is, of course, exactly what Democrats have been hoping for.

If you’re just joining us, Paul Ryan’s “roadmap” is a right-wing fantasy, slashing taxes on the rich while raising taxes for everyone else. The plan calls for privatizing Social Security and gutting Medicare, and fails miserably in its intended goal — cutting the deficit. As Paul Krugman recently explained, the Ryan plan “is a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America’s fiscal future.”

When Republican candidates embrace this plan to radically transform governmental institutions and Americans’ way of life, as these handful have, they’re endorsing a Republican vision of governing more extreme than anything we’ve seen in the modern political era.

That should not only be a crucial component of their campaigns, it reinforces the need for other Republican candidates to state their position on the “roadmap.” The question for every GOP hoping to be in Congress next year is simple and straightforward: “The leading Republican on the budget has presented a bold proposal. It’s been touted by the Republican leadership, and endorsed by several Republican candidates. Do you agree with that plan or not?”

It’s not unreasonable to think voters should have an answer before they head to the polls in November.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.