Some Republicans worry too much about the press, such as Sen. John McCain, who now questions whether GOP senators should have written to Iran, says Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard.
"They don't like too much criticism from the media, they're very susceptible to conventional wisdom," Kristol said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"Politicians always are, but they need to have a little nerve and see these things through."
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Kristol said some think Rep. Trey Gowdy's committee investigating the Benghazi attacks is "so yesterday, who cares about Benghazi anymore?"
But he argued that without that committee, the email controversy surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might never have come to light.
"That is a scandal that really could do damage to Hillary's presidential prospects," Kristol said.
He praised the House's invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress, and Sen. Tom Cotton's spearheading of the Senate's letter to Iran, warning that any nuclear deal it made with President Barack Obama might be overturned in two years.
"They've both done a huge amount to elevate the debate about Iran policy, to elevate the debate about Congress' role. Would we even be having the discussions we're having now if it weren't for, first the speech, and then the letter?
But some Republicans are still leery of rocking the boat.
"An awful lot of conservatives and Republicans say, well, let's have a debate, it's a distraction, the letter. I love that. What exactly is it distracting us from?" Kristol said.
"What debate were we having before Cotton and the 46 Republicans sent the letter, [on] … the question of whether Congress has a role. [It] focused attention on the fact that the administration [was] clearly telling the Iranians, don't worry about Congress."
Kristol praised the recent appearance of Netanyahu before Congress to talk about the nuclear danger Iran poses to Israel — and to the world.
"Zarif, the foreign minister of Iran … said look, we're going to cut a deal with this administration that's going to be binding under the international law. Now it turns out they may go to the U.N., and that's a complicated way of trying to do that through a back door," he said.
"So we owe a lot of debt to Netanyahu – to [House Speaker ] Boehner, to be fair, for inviting Netanyahu and sticking with him, to Cotton and the 46 Republican senators, to Trey Gowdy and others on the Benghazi Committee."
He said a vote of confidence is due to those groups for "pushing hard, for being willing to take the scorn of the pundits and the establishment and even some people on the Republican and conservative side of the aisle, and they've been very much vindicated."
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