WASHINGTON — John D. Dingell became the first king of the United States of America today under a little-known constitutional caveat that offers the title to a long-enough-serving member of Congress. Our new regent, D-Mich., has proclaimed this country Dingland and promised to continue what he called “decades of royal leadership.”
First elected to the House of Representatives in 1955, six years before Barack Obama was born, Dingell became the longest-ever serving member of Congress today, beating out the late Robert Byrd of West Virginia. More importantly, Dingell’s tenure hit 57 years, five months and 26 days, which, apparently, was a magic number for the founding fathers. The representative of Michigan’s 12th District will now be known as Ding John the First.
“Whosoever reacheth three score and six days past the fifth month of a stay in these Halls of not less than 57 years, he shall be King,” reads the U.S. Constitution’s esoteric Monarch Clause, known as its “self-destruct button” to legal scholars. “He shall have achieved a term to which there shall be no end, save death. Further, the rest of this document is then null and void.” The clause goes on to describe the future king’s power, which is essentially absolute.
“When I was elected, Coca-Cola was making its first transition to cans and a gallon of gas cost 23 cents,” proclaimed Dingell, “and now I am Lord of all I survey.”
The other 534 members of Congress, stripped of their titles and authority, were at first flummoxed regarding the dissolution of the republic, but many seemed pacified when their king offered to keep them on as teams of regional advisers, which he shall call Dingellberries. Civics teachers across the nation taught their students to make paper airplanes with their textbooks, and several cable TV political talking heads have decided to quit television, join together and open a little hotel upstate.
Former President Obama has reportedly fled the country.
Long live the Ding!