I generally stay away from politics, but havng figured out this Harriet Miers thing I feel I ought to explain it to you. The Bush camp obviously figured it would be poor form to try to succeed with two Supreme Court nominations in a row, so they have to lose one or two before presenting their real next candidate. This current nomination is so perfectly in character for our president that it's not totally, immediately obvious that he's trying to lose it.
There was an alternative way to lose a nomination: Our President could have nominated a fine centrist sort of judge eminently qualified for the job and then relaxed while an awesome cohort of special interest groups shot him down. But of course there was that risk - you know - that another fine, qualified judge might actually get onto the court.