Perhaps others have noticed the frequent appearance of "Federalist" as part of the conservative meme.
If you check out The Federalist society, you will see that they are an explicitly conservative org. link
I found this all to be a little confusing, since I had always thought of federalism as a concept that emphasized the role of the federal gov.
But apparently the roots are here
In The Federalist Papers, ratification proponent Alexander Hamilton explained the limitations this clause placed on the proposed federal government, describing that acts of the federal government were binding on the states and the people therein only if the act was in pursuance of constitutionally granted powers, and juxtaposing acts which exceeded those bounds as "void and of no force":
“ But it will not follow from this doctrine that acts of the large society which are not pursuant to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies, will become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such
The above quote was found on the Wiki page about States rights.
The phrase "states rights" has a few unpleasant connotations it seems. And so "Federalism" is the alternative word that is now used in place of states' rights.
But if you look at the above link on The federalist Society, it becomes clear that they are not just talking about states rights, but about the broader concept of moving power away from the central gov. to States, and local gov. And ultimately to individual sovereign citizens.
At this moment I am not saying that is good or bad. Just pointing out what lies behind the rhetoric of "federalism"