Re: does a starfleet ship always have a CO with the rank of captain?
^^^ I don't think that was his fault, per se. I think he was just written as one more of those clueless Starfleet bureaucrats who lost sight of what it was about, not having sat on the bridge of a starship, either for a very long time, or not at all. The Captains of the ships we watched every week were the heroes but, having to occasionally answer to authority, were generally given idiots as managers. Happens in real life all the time!
I may appear unoccupied to you, but at the molecular level, I'm really quite busy.