Politics, Mathematics, and Wiggle Words
In mathematics, placing additional constraints on the premise of an
ifthen statement greatly restricts its application. In politics, those
additional constraints are sometimes referred to as "wiggle words". An
actual example from
Accuracy In Media is shown below.
Mathematical Statement With No Additional Clauses 
The Politics Equivalent With No "Wiggle Words" Added 
If x is a real number, then I can find a
solution to the equation
x^{2}+3x+2=0.The solutions of x^{2}+3x+2=0 are x=1
and x=2. Since both x=1 and x=2 are real numbers, this
ifthen statement is true. 
"If you vote for me and I am asked to
approve stemcell research on human embryos, then I will oppose
Federal funding." If Federal funding is allowed for any type of
stemcell research, this promise would be broken. 
Now, let's add the "wiggle words" and additional clauses.
Mathematical Statement With Additional Clauses 
The Politics Equivalent With "Wiggle Words" Added 
If x is a real number and x > 0, then I
can not find a solution to the equation
x^{2}+3x+2=0.The additional clause "x>0" is added. Again,
the solutions of x^{2}+3x+2=0 are x=1 and x=2. If I
claim that there is no solution, I am not making a false claim since
only negative values of x solve the equation and the premise (ifpart)
requires the use of positive value of x.

"If you vote for me and I am asked to
approve stemcell research on human embryos, and the research involves
destroying living human embryos, then I will oppose Federal funding."
Note the addition of the word living. So funds could be
approved for use on cells that had been obtained from a previously
destroyed embryo without breaking the original campaign promise. 
Here is another example from
kansaseducation.wordpress.com.
In July the National Center for Education Statistics, part of the U.S.
Education Department, undermined this national effort. A report on
expenditures for public elementary and secondary education for the 200304
school year contained this finding: “The percentage of current
expenditures spent on instruction and instructionrelated activities
was 66.1 percent in 200304 for the nation as a whole” (emphasis added).
Seasoned students of government verbiage noted the suspiciously vague
phrase “instructionrelated activities.”
In reality 66.1 percent of education dollars already reach the
classroom. If the “instructionrelated” criterion is not added, the
percentage of dollars devoted to instruction has declined for five
consecutive years, to 61.3%.
