The people who pledged in the initial campaign weren't idiots. I don't think it's fair to blame them. They knew it was at least a couple years off at that point and were pledging accordingly.
The idiots were the people who continued to buy more and more imaginary content from them years later, well after they had blown past even the most conservative estimates for release dates from the initial campaign. This is what has enabled the feature/content bloat. They should have locked down the features and content soon after the initial campaign, but instead turned it into a scheme to turn the development of the game into a revenue stream by monetizing theoretical content in a game which doesn't exist yet. They wildly succeeded at this, effectively generating enough revenue from ship sales to fund the studio indefinitely even if there is never a proper release. The only thing that can stop this cycle is if enough people stop buying their new crap and demand a non-alpha/beta release or their money back.