When dissent is clear dissent, the stepped approach isn't necessary.Yep. Spot on.
For me, too much is made of this "stepped approach" when it comes to game management.
It's a good thing when applied to foul play or other innocuous USB but for dissent - forget it. Dissent is dissent. Card it and deal with it.
With the Sin Bin coming in across all the OA leagues I operate in next season, it's ironic (for me) that this season happens to be the one where I've dished out more yellows for dissent than in any other previous season. Interesting times ahead ...
I think of it as different steps that you can enter at any time, depending on the severity of the behaviour and repeat behaviour will advance to the next step. But if there is clear dissent, there is no need to start at the bottom, go straight to YC. Likewise if there is behaviour that doesn't quite reach dissent but you need to be strong with, get the captain in on the first occasion or have a public rebuke with the player yourself. For low-level stuff, go up the steps as the player continues.