It seems to me that when the federal government wants to impose laws that bind state and local governments to things that we disagree with ("No Child Left Behind," in my case, and federal drug laws, the patriot act, and so on) we turn to states rights and concepts of decentralized government for refuge. When the federal government wants to impose laws that we DO agree with (in my case, (sensible) health care reform, marriage equality, civil rights), we are all for the federal government pushing a general agenda.
This seems to be a relatively universal American trait. The same people who think that the assholes in Washington should not be allowed to force recognition of same-sex married couples throughout the nation DO think that assholes in Washington should be able to prevent the city of Chicago from banning handguns. The same people who think that the assholes in Washington should deal with the healthcare crisis already think that the assholes in Washington have no frelling clue how to run a school. Unless the school wants to impose religious doctrine on the students, in which case the assholes in Washington know better.
The same people who bash the government for taking our hard-earned money and giving it to other people are the first to stand up and demand federal assistance when a hurricane or flood wipes them out.
The assholes in Washington are (finally) doing what we put them there to do when they are doing what I want. When they are are doing something else (like what you want), they are over-reaching, power-hungry bastards who are intent on creating a fascist (or socialist, or both, for people who don't know what either word actually means) nanny-state.