I think I understand the long game on the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. It's a sit and wait strategy, like how the FBI dealt with the Oregon Moron Militia.
The first part is to avoid confrontation by nominating a very moderate, consensus choice. One that represents the best the GOP could hope for given the current president (or any Democrat for that matter). Any subsequent obstruction to a moderate centrist would undermine any effort to obstruct the nomination by rendering it ridiculous.
Just like Oregon, we're now going to step back and let the obstructionists hang themselves with the rope that they've just been given.
Buzz is that they'll vote to confirm him if and only if a Democrat is elected. So they intend to wait until after the election (finally using the lame duck term properly). What hasn't been said is if the nomination will be withdrawn on election day, which is what I think will happen. The GOP has shown its hand, all Obama needs to do is wait until the election and then withdraw the candidate on 11/8, even before the results are in.
If it comes to this, then the conditions are much more favorable that a younger, more liberal justice becomes the nominee.
If the GOP is capable of thinking ahead, and it's unlikely based on past performance that they are, then they'll accept the moderate choice. The court balance shifts either way from conservative majority, to swing court, and remains that way for a short time, relatively, given Garland is 63. The GOP would not come off as obstructionist, and would have a better chance of restoring the balance in their favor when Ginsburg retires in the next few years, likely in the next presidential term.
The only way this isn't win-win for Obama and the country is if for some reason, we all collectively begin huffing spray paint, snorting paste and bashing our heads against large rocks for the next 8 months and enough of us become stupid of enough to vote for Trump.