Not a single "plot pretzel" in Dean's favor has ever compared to the monstrosity of contrived Sam-pimping that was Swan Song.
Dean gets the shit beaten out of him for wanting to say yes to Michael and saving half the world, but Sam gets praised and lifted up for wanting to say yes to Lucifer and risking the entire world.
Dean says that he needs to "grow up" and let Sam do the same, implying that THAT'S been the problem all along.
Sam couldn't even take control back from Meg, yet believes for some reason that he has a chance against Lucifer, and is willing to bank the whole planet on it. No one brings up this extremely obvious point.
Sam drinks gallons of demon blood for no clear reason except for a "badass" shot of him killing demons with his mind.
No mention of Dean saying yes to Michael and wrestling back control so that he can throw Lucifer into the cage. It's exactly as far-fetched as the original plan, but with a far superior "worst case scenario." And in the unlikely event of success, the only one going into the Cage would be one evil archangel and a rotting meat suit, possibly Michael!Dean as well. No Adam as collateral.
Michael, the strongest archangel, happens to get pulled into the Cage like a stumbling toddler, conveniently wrapping up Sam's Big Hero moment, without any additional problems or casualties, in a neat little bow.
The ENTIRE POINT of the Impala's long-winded backstory is to ensure that Sam gets his ill-conceived, highly improbable win. Talk about twisting the plot in a character's favor!
Dean's consistent instinct for sniffing out people's true intentions/trustworthiness is small potatoes compared to all that. And regardless of how often he wins or he's right, it's not like it usually sticks or counts for anything. Just recently we've had Cas whining about missing Jack and Dean not forgiving him quickly enough, Sam protesting and batting his puppy eyes when Mean, Unreasonable Dean was "forcing" him to help lock up Murderous Nougat Boy.
Meanwhile, the hare-brained Cage plan has never been ridiculed or contradicted by anyone. Sam's story in seasons 6 and 7 was all about his noble suffering following that heroic sacrifice. Hell, he was even praising himself for "saving the world" via Fake Bobby in 9.01. Dean killing Eve, Dick Roman, Azazel, on the other hand? Not a single word of acknowledgement or appreciation after the fact.
WARNING: BARELY-RELATED TANGENT, NOT DIRECTED SPECIFICALLY AT ANYONE
I've mentioned before that, these past few years especially, Sam has suffered from too much Tell and not enough Show, and Dean has suffered from too much Show and not enough Tell. Most of the circular discussions on this thread are rooted in this fundamental disparity.
For instance, if someone expresses anger over how Dean is being treated by the writers and the characters in the TEXT, the response would likely concern all the instances that Dean was SHOWN as being in the right. If someone is pissed that Sam is SHOWN to be constantly screwing up, the likely rebuttal would be that the TEXT is praising/validating/whitewashing him. These are two separate lines of argument that will never intersect.
IMO, an angle that might be more substantial is the writers' intentions. And to that, I do have a thought: we already know that the majority of them are woefully incompetent, so what is more likely for incompetent writers to do? Purposefully contradict their Tell via their Show for absolutely no reason, OR spell out their agenda in the Tell and not give a shit about whether the Show/canon lines up with it?
That's why the writers' treatment of Dean pisses me off so much. No matter how many times he happens to be right or gets a cool scene once in a while, he still consistently gets treated like shit by the writers' mouthpieces. And knowing their ineptitude, I can't bring myself to believe that they're secretly trying to prop Dean up. They've demonstrated time and time again that they don't know what subtlety is.
So I know that most of them either dislike Dean themselves or have fallen in line with Dabb's "vision," and that the majority of textual sympathy/praise lies with Cas and Sam, regardless of how they actually come across on-screen. Dean Winchester deserves to be appreciated for the wonderful character he is, and that is not what's happening under Doofus Dabb. They're not doing a stellar job on Sam or Cas either, but at least that's due to pure incompetence rather than a lack of trying.
Writers' intentions DO matter; it's the difference between a lucky crumb that doesn't lead anywhere and an important and foreshadowed story. So far in this final season, Dean's gotten nothing but crumbs.