By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published May 14, 2012 at 2:14 PM

By now, you probably know how I feel about the politics of Gov. Scott Walker, but for the purposes of this blog, the decision on who I'll vote for on June 5 doesn't really matter.

What I'm struggling with this week is whether the upcoming recall election is warranted in the first place.

As far as I'm concerned, recall elections were designed to deal with politicians who have committed acts of gross malfeasance. People like former Sheboygan Mayor Jim Ryan, who was apparently in a constant state of breaking the law, come to mind. He was tossed out office, and rightfully so.

But while some are alleging shady business on behalf of the governor, the reason most people want to recall Walker is because they don't like how he's governed in the last year and a half.

Well, they should've tried harder to keep him from getting elected in the first place.

It's true that Walker didn't really campaign on the premise that he'd make such partisan, divisive pro-Tea Party decisions right out of the gate. Compromise was never in his vocabulary, but it wasn't part of his game plan as County Executive, either.

Walker didn't exactly hide his motives, mind you. Had more people – union workers of all stripes, specifically – paid attention in the general election, Walker may not be sitting in Madison right now.

Really, had more than half of Wisconsin's voting age citizens turned out, the results could be different, too.

It's not unfair to say that Wisconsin's Democrats and independent moderates are now paying for their apathy.

That, of course, extends to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who never seemed like he really wanted to be governor. That still seems to be the case. If he's trying to win, he's certainly not acting like it. Presumably talked into running by President Obama, he's the least aggressive candidate I've seen in a long time. I think he just likes being mayor, although I think he'd be a fine, moderate governor if elected.

But does Walker deserve to be recalled? If the argument is that he's a horrible governor, tearing Wisconsin apart, reworking laws for political gain while destroying the state's future and national reputation, then the answer is, reluctantly, no.

Or is the recall warranted because some think that once he was elected, Walker turned into a different person, drastically moving so much father right on key issues that even moderates would've never voted for him? Maybe, but just barely.

On the other hand, it doesn't really matter, since if the situation was reversed, Republicans would be doing the exact same thing. Jim Doyle just wasn't that polarizing, though; Republicans didn't like him, but they could live with him. Up until now, that's been both parties' line when they lose an election: we'll get 'em next time.

Not anymore.

Now, Wisconsin is in a virtual civil war. Neighbors won't talk to neighbors. Civility is out the window, and this administration took its political capital, and for right or for wrong, rammed its ideology through the legislature, leaving behind a wake of destruction. Wisconsin is a mess.

But not voting on June 5 out of ideology serves nobody. The political landscape is changed, and I expect recall attempts on every subsequent governor for some time. At least until Wisconsin can cool down a little.

Is this a fair recall election? Probably not, but it doesn't really matter. Wisconsin is a laughing stock, and no matter what happens on June 5, the rest of the country won't stop laughing any time soon.

Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.