President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address illustrated what a dead letter federalism is among Democrats. Not that further illustration was necessary.
Federalism holds that the national government should limit itself to things of truly national scope. Things that are primarily of local concern should be left to state and local governments.
Federalism was a big deal to the founders. They wanted an energetic national government, but one that was confined to enumerated national functions. The founders also envisioned a bright line between the federal and state governments, each sovereign within their own spheres.
We are a long way from that. Today, the Democratic Party sees virtually nothing as outside the purview of the federal government. The Republican Party talks a good game about federalism, but usually ends up undermining the principle when it acquires national power.