It's strategy week at Provisionally Titled

Back in the olden days, a little bit after Monday the 3rd of October, I remember seeing various people saying, on blogs or otherwise, that Harriet Miers was just a decoy nominee. That is, she was nominated without the intention that she ever be confirmed, but rather that she ease the confirmation of whomever was appointed next. I don't feel like searching for people saying this, but if someone doubts that it was an idea being batted around, drop me a comment and I'll look into it.
I didn't believe at the time that those were Bush's actual intentions, though I suppose the speed with which Alito was nominated this time should add a little bit of credence to it. What I want to note now is that if that was the strategy, it was very clearly a massive failure. To see this, it's important to consider the ways in which the hypothetical strategy might have worked. It could have worked by setting the bar extremely low, so that a potential Democratic opposition to the second candidate would be blunted by how appreciative they are of the second candidate's superiority to the first. This might be (well, is) true of Alito versus Miers qualifications-wise, but it's surely false ideology-wise. That being so, there's no reason to think it'll make Democratic opposition less likely since Democrats had more to expect from Miers as far as the actual results of actual cases being in the directions of policies which the Democrats support. The previous sentence was not an endorsement of results-oriented jurisprudence, but rather a statement about expectations.
Alternatively, perhaps the second candidate wouldn't have been opposed because after a tough fight which the Democrats very narrowly won, and in which public opinion and elite media opinion either nearly or did turn against them, they were too tired to go through the whole thing again. This is the furthest thing in the world from what actually happened, as conservative opposition has actually strengthened the Senate Democrats procedural hand, and the Democrats rather than being tired are energized after seeing Bush suffer a political defeat.
Finally it could just be that people just think two nominees in a row not succeeding is one too many. This is historically false.
For all of these reasons, if the Miers nomination had been a ploy to ease the Alito nomination, it would have been just as much of a failure as the Miers as sincere nominee version of this story was.