Nothing Cain did made any sense from a rational standpoint. Her actions were not going to do anything but get them killed, and doom what few civilians they encountered. Being under her command was a death sentence, and her XO was right to recognize it, albeit too late.
It wasn't a question of being "tough" or "soft," but one of making smart decisions that maximize limited resources and preserve human lives above all else. Striking back at the Cylons for petty revenge made no rational sense at all. Their best bet was to take all the people and equipment they could and high-tail it away from the Colonies and any Cylons they encountered.
That's to say nothing of using Gina as the crew's living fuck doll. There is no way to justify that at all, ever, under any circumstances. The term for it is "war crime." Perhaps those defending Cain should look it up, because she was
a war criminal, many times over. There was just no civilian authority to hold her accountable anymore.