I'm sorry if I seemed to critical as I was responding to a general theme more than simply your diary... but the ground game is part of the plan, but the media game is too, and they're not unaware of your valid gripes, they just disagree.
That the Obama campaign is complacent, passive, or holding the fort, or whatever way you wish to phrase a certain passivity is wrong.
Wrong. It's not really a subjective matter... the notion of passivity is based upon the idea that the campaign doesn't recognize exactly the same situation and is NOT responding to it- when indeed they are doing exactly the same thing as they did in the primary.
They have prioritized the ground game over national media.
They have taken advantage of a favorable position and a positive message to allow their opponent to go negative and, hopefully, drive up their own negatives among moderates and independents.
...and then, once the media has recognized and set into narrative the difference in campaign tactics, they hit back on targeted issues meant to provide the greatest number of potential paths to victory.
If one works from this fundamental realization that the campaign is working to a specific strategy then it is a debatable approach. Will McCain antagonize the independents and moderates to the same degree he rallies conservatives and frightens the middle-ground? I'm not sure we have a definitive answer.
But if you begin your strategic analysis under the assumption that Obama's campaign is passive or slow to respond...
...for absentee voting or a system at the caucuses where one may show up, file a preference form, and then leave. Some caucuses make such allowances and such a change to those systems would account for the entirely-legitimate objection that people not be denied participation due to their means.
In contrast to small primaries, caucuses do foster the "depth" of support people are mentioning below... and a sort of local political organization that can be very valuable to the party. For some states the expense of the election is also a meaningful problem. If the party is going to insist upon an election format, will it be obliged to make up some of the difference in funding?
If all states were to hold primaries, that would feed into the false "popular vote" meme. So long as some states hold open primaries and others hold closed primaries the pledged delegate system will be necessary to normalize the results. I don't necessarily changing all states to one or the other system would be a good option.
Again, I'm all for making some tweaks to the caucuses to make them more inclusive, but the demand for doing away with them IS, at present, "sore-loserism," and would be a negative change for the party for the purpose of selecting the best nominee.
...and the differences on UHC were more a matter of strategy than a matter of principle, so far as they were articulated. If you take away health care and discuss other major policies dealing with government reform, it is not a close question, whereas among all three candidates the differences on health care were often made out to be much more substantial than they truly were.
"The differences between Sen. Clinton and myself are much more dramatic than the differences between Sen. Obama and myself" - John Edwards
having said quite openly that he and Obama were nearer than he and Clinton. As others have pointed out as well- you're underestimating the amount of support Obama had in Iowa and the plain evidence of where Edwards' support went. With the exception of Appalachian voters, it tended towards Obama.
...and even had Edwards not been in the race, Clinton could not have pushed Obama out prior to SC. Might it have made the difference? Perhaps, but it's a stretch to consider it probable.