Iowa Senator Tom Harkin blames what he calls the “extreme right wing” for, in his words, “beating up” Harriet Miers, who withdrew her name this morning from consideration for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Harkin, a Democrat, questions Miers’ motives for backing out of the nomination.

Harkin says “The White House is saying it’s because they don’t want to turn over documents. That rings rather hollow. Obviously Judge Roberts got through. He had documents that he had written when he was in a similar type of position in a previous White House and those documents never came through yet he got through all right.”

Harkin thinks the reports being circulated by the administration are a smoke screen to hide the true reason Miers withdrew her name. Harkin says “This excuse by the White House that they don’t want to give up documents is not the reason at all. It just appears that the right wing elements of the Republican Party were so insistent that she not be given a chance. They came down very hard on her.”

Harkin says he’s disappointed Miers is out of the running as he had the impression she had “a sense of justice for minorities.” He says Miers “might have had a sense that sometimes the laws were skewed against those who look different or act different in our society and that she might be a vote for common sense or some reason on the Supreme Court. Of course the right wing elements don’t want that. They want someone who hues only to their philosophy.” Harkin had not gone on-record opposing Miers’ nomination to the High Court and says he’s -not- enthusiastic about her departure.

Harkin says “I don’t see how the withdrawal of Miers can be a victory to anyone other than the extreme right wing in this country. If you will look, you will see neither I nor any Democrats that I knew of really went after Harriet Miers. We wanted to have the hearings. We wanted to get some questions answered, but it was the right wing of the Republican party that just mercifully beat her up.”

Harkin says Miers’ withdrawal will cause some “great fissures” in the G-O-P and the Republicans “can just about kiss the women’s vote goodbye in the next elections.” Miers will stay in her current job as White House counsel.