During a presidential primary race that has many conservatives looking for sharp objects and tall buildings, Ben Domenech is working to make sure conservatives don’t lose their sense of humor.
Inspired by a New York Mag slide show, Ben (@bdomenech) created his now-famous Newt Judges You tumblr blog last November. Ben said the original slide-show “was funny but, I didn’t think it was anywhere near funny enough.” Thus, Newt Judges You was conceived.
The blog currently boasts more than 250 pictures of Newt and captions that will leave your sides aching.
How does he come up with so much content?
“I own just about every Gingrich book, including a photo book which has some classic old shots, and the debates and the camera phone age supplies tons of content,” Domenech said. “What I love now is that journalists regularly send me pictures of themselves being “Judged” – it’s great fun. I plan to keep it running as long as people are laughing.”
The content streams that Ben curates aren’t just of the humorous variety. From his prolific twitter presence to policy writing as a research fellow at the Heartland Institute, blogging at RedState.com, Big Government and Ricochet, podcasting at Coffee & Markets or his daily email of news and notes from around the web, The Transom, Ben has been in the business of influencing conservative politics for more than a decade.
Like most newbies to twitter, the microblogging platform was originally a way for Ben to replace many RSS feeds, track reactions from fellow politicos and connect directly with fellow influencers. While Twitter still serves each of those purposes, Ben’s Twitter style has changed and appreciation for the medium has grown:
“It’s become far more useful when it comes to getting rapid reactions from smart people to big events – some of the debates this cycle I’ve viewed only through Twitter reactions,” he said. “And as it’s expanded, journalists seem more willing to talk and engage on topics of note – they’ll ask questions as guidance for stories or in looking to correct the record on something. Talking and debating with prominent writers and journalists is healthy, I think, especially when there’s mutual respect.”
As to what kind of follow Ben is personally, his own stream is a mix of curated RTs from top political journalists and his own political analysis. While some twitter users enjoy arguing with users for sport, you’ll rarely find that in Ben’s tweet stream.
“Beyond [journalists], I probably don’t engage as much with people who disagree with me – I just assume we’d yell past each other in 140 character segments. A convincing argument usually requires more than that,” he said.
When it comes to naming his favorite tweeps, Ben has five who are all top conservatives on twitter, but each gives you a unique flavor of the twitterverse: “King of the bon mot Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank), smart youngster Katherine Miller (@katherinemiller), the DC Examiner’s own unstoppable journalist Phil Klein (@philipaklein), the Daily Caller’s insightful Matt Lewis (@mattklewis), and the indefatigable Texan Josh Trevino (@jstrevino). You should be following all five.”