Barbara Boxer was never a particularly effective senator. Just name a signature legislative achievement or a victory for California in her 24 years representing the state.

So her exit was fitting.

She went out protesting the passage of what had been our own bill of water projects. And she went out blasting her own colleague, Dianne Feinstein, for crafting a practical compromise on water that was attached as a rider to that bill.

Feinstein effectively made a deal with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Bakersfield Republican who is #2 in the House. It wasn’t perfect, but it was an improvement. It states protections for species while allowing for more water deliveries South and more flexibility in managing water, with the goal of capturing water from storms.

Boxer, who was clearly not part of negotiations, opposed the bill and vowed to block it.

“This is a devastating maneuver,” Boxer said, as quoted by the Sacramento Bee. “This last-minute backroom deal is so wrong. It is shocking, and it will have devastating consequences if it makes it into law, which I can tell you I will do everything in my power to make sure that it never, ever makes it into law.”

As it turned out, there wasn’t much in her power. The bill went through and appears likely to be signed by the White House as of this writing. Feinstein patiently explained that “This bill isn’t perfect but I do believe it will help California,” Feinstein said, and noted that it was a better deal that she might have gotten once Trump takes office.

Feinstein took criticism from skeptical editorial pages. But she got the deal done. Boxer made a point, but not much else.

California desperately needs Kamala Harris to be more Feinstein than Boxer.