The Post ran an article {Dec. 21} about the Republican minority in the House of Representatives. The article addressed the "painful reality" of minority status in the House and all that it entails. It mentioned the abuses that Republicans are subjected to by the Democratic majority.

By omission, however, the article left the impression that the minority party has no influence in the development of public policy, and in fact has reached a point of such permanency that it has been reduced to "an unhappy collection of handwringers and complainers."

While we wring a hand now and then and at times a complaint may be heard from our patient and enduring ranks, we spend most of our time working. During this Congress, the House Republican positions on farm credit, catastrophic health care, welfare reform and particularly trade will be far closer to what the nation will ultimately have as public policy than those the Democratic majority forced through the House. So, too, can our imprint be found on what the House did not do -- the costly experimentations in social policy, the destruction of defense policy and, to a lesser degree, fiscal policy.

Yet it is not simply in specific legislative proposals that House Republicans have a beneficial impact. We have through sheer necessity become the embodiment of parliamentary vigilance, ever on the alert to identify, challenge and, at times, even prevent some of the more blatant procedural abuses of the majority. In fighting the Democratic procedural juggernaut, House Republicans represent all that is best in our nation's parliamentary tradition. They also serve who only reserve the right to object.

Nothing is so boring to the layman as a litany of complaints over the more obscure provisions of House procedures. It is all "inside baseball." Even among the media, none but the brave seek to attend to the howls of dismay from Republicans over such esoterica as the kinds of rules under which we are forced to debate. But what is more important to a democracy than the method by which its laws are created?

We Republicans are all too aware that when we laboriously compile data to demonstrate the abuse of legislative power by the Democrats, we are met by reporters and the public with that familiar symptom best summarized in the acronym "MEGO" -- my eyes glaze over. We can't help it if the battles of Capitol Hill are won or lost before the issues get to the floor by the placement of an amendment or the timing of a vote. We have a voice and a vote to fight the disgraceful manipulation of the rules by the Democrats, and we make use of both. All we need now is media attention, properly directed to those boring, but all-important, House procedures.

The fact is that Republicans in the House are far more productive and creative as a minority than Democrats in the House are as a majority. All the Democrats have (and, alas, it is often enough!) is sheer numbers. They are as bereft of ideas as they are of credible presidential candidates.

It is time for a new assignment and a greater challenge for Republicans who, through the uses of adversity, have learned how this House should operate. Since Democrats have so badly abused and disfigured the body of power entrusted to the majority, the next step seems obvious -- a Republican majority. ROBERT H. MICHEL Office of the Republican Leader U.S. House of Representatives Washington