DOESN’T TAYLOR COUNT AS ‘DISGRACED’?…. One likes to think there are certain political norms. If a political official is caught up in a huge scandal, for example, and resigns in disgrace, there’s an expectation that the official will go away. If said official simply pretended nothing happened, he/she would be something of a laughing stock. In theory.

I mention this because Sara Taylor, a former top aide to Karl Rove, should be a political pariah after her role in the U.S. Attorney purge scandal. Instead, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) just hired her to help lead his political action committee, a precursor to his presidential campaign.

Hiring one of the central figures in one of the biggest abuse-of-power scandals in recent history is a painful reminder of the lack of consequences when it comes to Republican scandals.

Taylor’s testimony during the U.S. Attorney hearings sure was interesting. When confronted with the fact that she’d conducted official government business through a private RNC e-mail account, she explained that it was more “efficient” than using both the RNC e-mail and the government e-mail. In addition, Taylor refused to answer many questions, citing executive privilege, and for other questions said she couldn’t recall the answers:”I can’t remember what I had for breakfast last week.”

But her single most famous moment was when Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) caught Taylor saying she made an oath to the President — as opposed to saying she made an oath to the Constitution.

If there were any justice, Taylor would be politically radioactive. Republican presidential candidates wouldn’t want anything to do with her. She was directly involved in politicizing non-partisan government agencies and the scandal surrounding the firing of federal prosecutors who refused to act like cogs in a partisan political machine. In one instance, Taylor even suggested retribution against a U.S. Attorney who dared to speak out about the reasoning behind his firing.

Pawlenty apparently doesn’t care about his new aide’s past. In light of Taylor’s role on the Bush/Cheney ’04 campaign, which relied on vote caging, Dave Weigel asked Pawlenty today whether he agreed with Taylor and the Bush team’s approach to so-called “voter registration fraud.” The governor replied, “Absolutely.”

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.