‘YOUNG GUNS’ EMBRACE RYAN ROADMAP?…. The House Republican leadership has been reluctant to embrace, at least formally, Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) “Roadmap for America’s Future.” That’s not surprising — Ryan’s plan is both radical and ridiculous, and GOP leaders don’t necessarily want to spend the next two months talking about it.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), in particular, has been especially reluctant to say whether he’s on board with the Ryan proposal. But it’s about to get considerably more difficult to separate the GOP leadership from the radical plan.

In a new book to be released next month, three House Republican leaders include many of the policies and ideas that some in their party have promoted over the last year, as well as a controversial plan to drastically cut the country’s entitlement spending.

The proposed entitlement overhaul by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), known as the Roadmap for America’s Future, is featured with many GOP solutions for the debt, national security and health care in “Young Guns,” according to an early edition of the book obtained by Roll Call. Ryan, Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Chief Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote the book.

The three divided the majority of the writing into separately authored sections, but the inclusion of the entitlement plan indicates an implied endorsement by at least some of the GOP leadership. […]

“It’s time we stop deferring tough decisions and promising fiscal fantasies,” Ryan wrote in the book. “It’s time we tell Americans the truth, offer them a choice, and count on them to do what’s right.”

Works for me. The truth is, 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, they’re endorsing a Republican vision of governing more extreme than anything we’ve seen in the modern political era.

Yesterday, Ryan reminded reporters that his roadmap is not the official position of the House Republican Conference, but how long is this shell-game going to last? Can Eric Cantor, whose political action committee is chiefly responsible for this “Young Guns” book, credibly argue that he only agrees with certain chapters of his own book?

The House Republican leadership’s Whip and Deputy Whip are publishing a book touting a specific plan. Must we maintain the pretense that the right-wing roadmap belongs solely to Paul Ryan?

On a related note, the book, “Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders,” was mocked rather relentlessly on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” earlier, and for good reason.

If you want to see the original, self-aggrandizing video that Cantor’s production team put together, it’s online here. It’s as obnoxiously over the top as anything I’ve seen from Republicans in quite a while.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.