President Obama is fond of talking about what domestic policies Abraham Lincoln accomplished during the Civil War.
What was Lincoln's secret? His opponents left Congress. I found this chart of Congress during that era. The Congress went from 83 Democrats in 1859-60 to 44 in 1861-62. There were 55 fewer representatives because of the legislators who left with the Confederacy.
Take away half the Republicans, and President Obama could pass more of his stuff, too.